Friday 31 May 2013

paid to play...

 you have heard me say it before and you will doubtlessly hear me say it again...


what's not to love? people pay me proper money to play with fabrics - money i can spend in shops, money i can barter for goods we need, money i can pay bills with...PROPER money!

the latest playing i have been paid to do is this disappearing 9 patch baby quilt.
i am a little bit in love with the disappearing 9 patch and having made my pillow for the pillow talk swap in it recently i wanted to give a quilt a try. i thought it was a perfect block for busier fabrics. 

 i know i am a little bit late to the D9P party - only by about 3 or 4 years - but it is such a great block it definitely needs a revival.

i love the randomness of D9P. i love how you can pick any 9 blocks, sew them together, cut them up, repeat repeat again and shuffle all the mini blocks around and have something that works.
back to the job bit...
the customer wanted a mix of jewel, liberty type fabrics and was happy for a big mix up so this layout was perfect.
there is repetition with the majority of the fabrics, which in the midst of all the craziness gives a cohesive feel, but i included a few snippets of my favourite fabrics that i had enough for just one square in the whole quilt. i put in my absolute favourite piece that had been sitting on my desk. it is a little sample square that Ayumi had sent me with a recent order. sadly she didn't have any more, so that's it now, gone.

i so enjoyed making this quilt and piecing a D9P. i am most definitely going to put it on the list of throws to make for us. it won't pay me in money but it certainly will in joy, which is almost as good...almost.

i am going to leave you with a question which i would love you to link to...
did you do D9P back in the day? if so would you share a link to your makes? i would love to see. if you didn't is there another quilting pattern you have recently discovered where you feel you are a bit late to the party?

if i knew how to do one of those clever linky things at the bottom of the post here i would, but i can't, so please leave your links in the comments and can't wait to see!

Thursday 23 May 2013

shopping take 1...and 2...

in further preparation for saltaire makers fair at the weekend i went to our local fabric mecca in search of some much needed supplies.
i wasn't sure i would get what i needed as it's a bit of an aladdin's cave and can be hit and miss. i knew what i wanted to make but quite what i would come home with to make it was all part of the thrill.

i came home with this pile of beauties...amongst other things...ahem. 

the denim is the most wonderfully soft indigo denim by designer paul smith no less. i wanted it to make some of these and originally bought it thinking i would be screen printing on it but actually when i had made a couple up i thought it didn't need anything adding.

i did however get some screen printing action going with item number 2 from the denim...
bistro aprons.
i did a little IG survey...knee length or thigh? 
the overwhelming consensus was thigh.
this surprised me somewhat as i originally made them thigh but thought it a bit short so made one knee (or slightly above)
personally i thought this was better...
more coverage...
but apparently not.
we'll see what the punters at the weekend say.

by the end of play yesterday and doing my usual IG posting as i made, i had already sold all those i had made...whoops, none for the fair.
so today it was back to fabworks for...

and boy was i glad i did!
check out this gorgeous emerald green braid and liberty-esque fabric...i was in love!
more denim was acquired, the emerald bag was constructed and boy oh boy i was in love!

i'm not entirely sure this one will make it to the fair either...i think i'll be claiming it as mine...but the good news is that shopping take 2 consisted of enough to make a fair few more of this one...phew ;-)

Friday 17 May 2013


 being the world's best starter and the world's worst finisher it will come as no surprise that i have started yet another quilt.

to be fair i am on a mission to make a quilt for our bed. i keep thinking i have found the perfect quilt design but then as i get going on it it doesn't seem quite as perfect as i thought so i give up.

i really thought this low volume scrappy trip along above was going to be just right...

...wrong! even though it is low volume there is just too much going on.

the same happened with the + and x quilt below.

way too busy!
it was back to the drawing board but not before i made myself sew up these scrappy and plus blocks into squares big enough to make cosy floor cushions.

now i can relatively guiltlessly get on with the job in hand of making the right quilt and i actually think i am there this time.

i had bought camille's lovely swoon pattern a while ago and had a lightbulb moment of thinking this would be just the right quilt, particularly if i kept it simple.
the first block i made at the top went pretty straight forwardly. i used my 2 favourite fabrics of the moment - architextures' crosshatch in grey and pb&j's raspberry jam in picnic. the background is the crosshatch in white...plain but with a little added interest.

i was really pleased with the result of this first block and started pulling fabrics for the rest of the quilt.  whilst our room has a strong Orla Kiely wallpaper with a shot of chartreusy yellow i initially wanted to keep the quilt neutral.
not according to my sub conscience as before i knew it i'd dragged out some yellows. looks like it was going to have yellow in it after all.

just to make sure yellow was going to work i made up another block. 
i was liking...

but now i have a dilemma...a big dilemma...
i laid the blocks out on the bed just to see if it was working for me and boom how good do the blocks look as pillow covers??

do i stop at these 2 blocks and do something else for the quilt?
but what else would work in this room?
what would you do??

Wednesday 15 May 2013

adventure and fun times...

 i'm a little bit distracted by a new app that is suddenly all over instagram. 
have you seen it?

it's called #abeautifulmess by the beautiful bloggers of the same name.

it is so darn addictive! 
the app has all sorts of cute doodles, fonts and fun phrases to name just some of it's features that you can use to customise your photos. 
hours and hours of unadulterated fun!

as well as customising your own photos, like the 2 above, you can choose from several cool backgrounds and create your own pics like the one i did below.

this one below is quite poignant as it turns out. i've been waiting for a VIE - very important email - for several days and whilst at the orthodontist with number 2 son this morning i was playing about with the app and doodled this pic.
i got home a little bit later to find the VIE in my inbox, the contents of which means i am about to go on a big metaphorical adventure with fun times ahead.

cryptic i know, but that's all i can say for now. all i can say is not all doodling turns out to be unadulterated and there is always a reason to what we do. 
that's my excuse anyway...

want your own excuse to doodle away? go see more about the app here from the makers themselves and if you haven't already downloaded it, you will be the best 69p you'll spend today!

Monday 13 May 2013

triangular sweethearts...

 it's that time again...

 i love exhibiting at the Saltaire Makers Fair as it is full of lots of wonderful talented makers and it has a reputation for the visitors expecting quality handmade work.

as normal i haven't got myself particularly well prepared for the event so am trying desperately hard now to rectify that and make plenty of my usual favourites as well as having a few fresh new lines to show.

a few weeks ago i printed my first stencilled heart tea towel in orange and finally today managed to print some more in a couple of other colours.

this will be their inaugural outing so it will be lovely to see how they are received. to date i have printed them up in the tangerine, a sunshine yellow and then a greeny-turquoise. the greeny-turquoise was today's happy accident. i had printed the yellow first and went over the screen with my regular turquoise and hey presto a lovely seafoam colour. i love it! i've been trying but failed to mix this colour for ages. don't you just love happy accidents?

i think i will stick with these 3 colours...
unless of course there's a colour that you think i must print it in...all suggestions on a postcard pleas...or simply left as a comment.

and of course i couldn't just leave the design as tea towels...
there are t-shirts for your little sweetheart too!

if you live in the vicinity and are looking for something great to do this forthcoming Bank Holiday then please do come visit. the Makers Fair is part of the Saltaire Arts Trail so there will be lots to see and do. it would be well worth a special visit even if you live a bit further afield.

...and if you aren't able to be there then you can always pick up one of my new tea towels in my Etsy shop. (t-shirts will be available there v soon)

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Not your usual Bank Holiday Escapade...

 what a bank holiday that was! 

for those of you that didn't know i, along with 19 other crazy fools, took part in a 24 hour walk all in the name of charity on sunday through to monday.
here i am below with my crazy pals at the beginning looking all fresh faced if not slightly apprehensive.

the walk was around the leeds country way which for the main part is typically beautiful Yorkshire countryside so it was no hardship to spend a day walking through that.

the aim was to complete as much as possible of the 100km (sounds so much more impressive than 62 miles) route in the allotted 24 hours.
ahead of time i wasn't overly sure how much i would achieve and at which point i wouldn't be able to continue. in my head i wanted to get half way - apart from the fact that there was a scheduled rest stop at beautiful Oulton Hall - 30 miles seemed a credible effort to give.
because of dad's recent illness and subsequent passing i hadn't had quite the recommended preparation but i was determined to give it my best shot. quite whether my feet and legs were going to provide the same determination was unknown. we had been recommended to get up to 50km in training...i'd got up to 25...a little imbalance in the equation there. 

we were all out there raising money for Donisthorpe Hall a local care home for the elderly which is very close to all our hearts for one reason or another. besides the fact that this is a unique care home with outstanding care and friendliness in the locality this is where my grandma now resides. after looking after my grandad for 72 years (astounding i know!) and being ill for the last 20 grandma was delighted to be looked after at Doni, as we affectionately call it and it is testament to what an amazing place it is for her to have settled to such a change so quickly.

as some of you know (i generally keep this place happy and relatively free from my private life, so you would be forgiven for not knowing) my dad passed away 2 weeks ago. the reason i mention it now is that during his 13 week long recent illness he had 2 weeks out of hospital in rehab at Doni before unfortunately heading back to hospital. those 2 weeks in Doni were spent with him the happiest we had seen him during this time. it really is a very special place.

i was personally spurred on so much to raise as much as possible and help provide more of the much needed unbelievably expensive specialist equipment that so many of the residents need. 

every step was done in memory of my lovely dad and i am astounded and delighted to let you know that just about all of us - including me! - completed the 24 hour challenge and walked approximately 85km in the process. i am even more astounded and delighted to let you know that we have raised over £30 000! an absolutely huge thank you to those of you that have sponsored me and if you didn't and would like to, now that you know!, please do go to my just giving page, which i think stays open for another couple of weeks. if you feel you could give just £5 in support of this wonderful cause i would thank you from the bottom of my heart.

here we all are yesterday morning returning to Doni after what has to be the most incredible challenge of my life. it was an amazing experience. even more amazing still i didn't have one blister! i do have very sore legs though!

so what did you get up to this weekend?!

Friday 3 May 2013

a little sweetheart...

 this week has been all about trying to catch up as well as throwing myself into all that is comforting.

 cracking on with this quilt and pattern ticked both those boxes.

you may remember these cushions i did back in january...
as i was doing them they sparked an idea for  my next quilt pattern. it was the perfect week to throw myself into some gratuitous sewing as well as feeling virtuous as i was actually ticking something off the list, rather than the usual adding to it.

so please let me introduce the sweetheart quilt!

the pattern is now available in my etsy shop along with the popular giant hexie quilt pattern and for a limited time i am offering both patterns for £7 instead of the usual £4.50 each.
you gotta love a bargain ;-)

that done i have a day to catch up properly with all that has been hanging over me and i haven't had the oomph to deal with.

today is the oomph is back (see what i'm doing here with the positive thinking?...i'll let you know if it really is or whether i am just all talk as usual!)