Thursday 27 February 2014

:: spring clean up sale ::

this is the week of the massive spring clean in my studio and with that comes a spring clean sale. i am determined to make my space inspiring, calm and uncluttered and that means i need to cast off some precious items.

if you follow me on instagram you will know that i have started the spring clean sale with a few smaller items. (check them out here, here, here and here if you haven't yet seen).

but now it's time for the bigger things...some quilts.

1. star of the pixelated piece. measuring a whopping 80 x 80" would make a great show stopper on any bed. 

it is £250 including shipping within the UK. if you are interested but are outside the UK i will quote you a shipping price.

2. a giant hexie quilt...SOLD

3. my neutral improv piece a la Lu Summers. would make a great piece of art for your wall. measuring 21 x 18". £35 within the UK. please ask for shipping price outside UK.

4. tumbling tinsel wall art piece as seen in Fat Quarterly the scraps issue. measuring 26 x 26". £35 within the UK. please ask for shipping price outside UK.

if you are interested in any of the pieces please leave a comment here or email me on

thanks for looking x

Monday 24 February 2014

:: origami est :: the best...

 do you know my friend origami_est?
if you don't you should.

esther and i met over instagram and after oohing and ahhing over each other's work became good internet buddies. she is, as you would expect from her name, an origami artist and an incredibly talented one at that.

esther's work is very intricate and quirky and she has such an amazing eye for detail and presentation. above is a pic of her bunny garland kits. how cute?? not only is esther's handwriting to die for (i actually have an obsession with pretty isn't a talent i was blessed with and am in awe of anyone who is) but the instruction cards are printed on polaroid-esque cards with dymo labelling. honestly it is all killing me!

i bought a few of these kits for ruby and nieces and g-d daughter's and the like and they really are the sweetest thing. ruby and a pal made these below over half term last week. we still have the (hand felted) tails and ribbon to attach but they are just the cutest.

esther has kindly bought papers from me to use to make her origami pieces (including this pretty brooch) and has most recently made these lovely envelopes with my allotments. i just love them!...and if you do too go here to get some yourself.

the other wonderful thing about esther ("is esther's a wonderful thing...") is that all her selling is completely she gives all her proceeds to Stop The Traffik, a non-profit organisation that aims to stop human trafficking.

i really really hope to meet esther in real life someday soon and if i could i would go to her workshop at Smug in Camden Passage on 6 April. please go if you can and go support a girl who is worth supporting and is extremely talented and lovely to boot.

Saturday 15 February 2014

quilting for a cause...

every now and then a cause comes along that pulls at the heart strings.

this is one of those times.

alison of little island quilting wrote about her visit to a home where 90 mexican street children live and i couldn't help but want to be involved. it is impossible to help every cause that comes along but this was certainly one i could.

rather than repeating alison's post about what she is doing go here to read about it and here to read what you can do to help.

in short, all you need to do is make one 12 1/2" backed and quilted block and send to Alison. obviously you could make more...i certainly am going to try...but if we each make one imagine how many of those deprived children could have their very own bit of comfort. 

if you feel you can help, go to read more about it on alison's blog and either leave a comment with her or here with me to get the details of where to send your block/blocks/quilts to.

x x x

Friday 14 February 2014

:: giant vintage star quilt ::

i have been having a rather lovely vintage kind of week...
the very very lovely and talented Cathi sent me a big pile of her vintage fabric girl's trash n all that...and i have been having copious amounts of fun with them.

i had a design brief for a magazine project (you know the one) that i thought my precious vintage fabrics would be just perfect will see more of that in a couple of months and i am so pleased with how these pretty fabrics joined together to make heart-warming comforting items.

the big play though, in more ways than one, was the vintage giant star quilt i made...

my goodness i absolutely love this quilt.
i think it may even be my most favouritest quilt i have ever made.

it is based upon jeni b's gorgeous quilt and can obviously be made in a multitude of fab fabrics but seeing jeni's beautiful vintage one i knew it was perfect for my pile of vintage fabrics.

and even though it is a super large quilt (almost 80" square) being just 28 pieces sewn together it is obviously extremely quick to make the quilt top.

quilt top made, backing bought (a fresh orange gingham) i ventured on quilting this giant.
it took a while to baste but that gave me time to decide how i was going to quilt it.

now i am by no means an experienced quilter. i am quite a dab hand at simple straight line quilting, which i absolutely love, but this quilt needed a softer quilting to compliment the bold star. i was quite nervous about venturing with some curly loopy fmq...i could quite easily ruin the whole thing.

thankfully i didn't and thankfully it turned out even more magical than i could imagine.
to finish off i bound it with a scrappy binding made up of some of the leftover vintage fabric pieces which turned out subtle enough but with a little bit of quirky character.

my only sadness about this whole thing is hubs, whilst he wowed at it, said it was no way going near our bed...way too flowery.
i may just have to sneak it on one night while he is away...and just leave it there.

big thanks go to my lovely tall friend helen for modelling the quilt for me...she came round this morning for a run...little did she know. 

Tuesday 11 February 2014

aurifil giveaway winner...

fantastic response to the aurifil giveaway although i am not surprised...i'd want to win it too!

but again only one winner i'm afraid...

Blogger Katy said...
I've not been sewing long enough to have a huge thread stash, but I bought a variegated spool (code 4666) of 28 weight to hand-quilt one I made as a pre-birth present for my niece, and I really liked the feel of it. I keep meaning to try it for piecing too. Thanks for the chance to win some.
thank you for entering and well done, Katy.
 Please email me your mailing address and i 
will send off your aurifil goodies. 

Friday 7 February 2014

:: the big one ::

i hinted last week that there was more good news to come.
after a week of being in various publications and hitting you from all sides this week has ended with being able to reveal the big one.

the week started with me getting very excited, possibly a little bit too, over a couple of new designs i have been working on and getting them onto screen sand printing up.

let me introduce to you flowerbeds and hexie plus...
i am really giddily pleased with these and can't wait to eek out some time to sew with them and print more colours and get them in the shop.
will keep you posted on that.

in the meantime the big one happened...
those of you that follow me regularly will know i have been harping on about a secret project for some time. 
the time has come to reveal...


i am an author!!!
it feels completely and utterly surreal for me to say those words and even more to search screen printing at home on amazon and find this there! (altho please don't search 'karen lewis' will find some quite dodgy fiction that i swear isn't written by me!)

it is quite a giddy time at the moment...lots happening and i have a feeling the giddiness isn't going to go away just yet.

the book is due to be published at the end of July but you can pre-order it now on Amazon (a huge appreciative thank you for those who have done already x). Here's the link for UK and it is also available here on the US website.

more to come on it soon...i don't think you have heard the last of me!

Tuesday 4 February 2014

wonderful wonderful aurifil...

 i am a big fan of Aurifil are you?
if so read on as there may be a little giveaway at the end of this post...

Aurifil 50wt (the orange one) has been my go to thread of choice ever since i was first introduced to it...particularly number 2600...the perfect shade of grey that goes with everything. 
i hadn't tried the other wts but was lucky enough to be sent a few recently to try.

now it would be fair to say that i am a little swayed by how things look. i like to be surrounded by pretty things...what's wrong with that? but they do need to have something to back up the looks and aurifil ticks all those boxes.

first of all not only are the coloured bobbins so bright and fun but they are indeed practical too...easy to grab what you are after without having small print to contend with and believe me at my age, being visually challenged, that is a huge plus.

on testing, 40wt - the green one - proved to be equally delightful and i particularly like the effect of how the slightly heavier thread shows up in quilting stitches.

the grey 28wt is a lovely thread to use for hand piecing. i am a bit heavy handed with hand piecing but no worries about snapping the thread with this one. it also works beautifully for machine quilting, a lovely bold finish.

then there are the threads for sashiko and hand embroidery...
12 wt - the red one - has a lovely feel and pretty sheen (you can see the stitches i did at the top).
and then of course the aurifloss, a 6 strand embroidery floss. 
this is one of those times that you can't ignore the prettiness...have you seen the wooden bobbins they are wound on??
but they do stitch like a dream too...

5 different types of thread, over 250 colours, they are the kona of the thread world. you really need to give them a try if you haven't already.

and to help one of you on your way i am giving away this set below of the 4 main threads and i will throw in one of the aurifloss too because they are way too pretty not to share and i am nice like that.

just leave a comment to be with a chance of winning. if you use aurifil already just tell me what your favourite colour is, which weight you prefer or something about it that you like. if you have never tried it just tell me that!

please leave an email where i can contact you if you are a no reply commmenter, should you win.

Good Luck!

Sunday 2 February 2014

dreams do come true...

 this week was a week where some of the secrets i have been hoarding have been spilling out...

the week started with my tumbling tinsel piece being featured in the fat quarterly scraps issue.
i really enjoyed devising this little quilt, using up precious scraps from previous projects.
i just wish i had had time to make a bigger version, but i guess we shall just put it on the ever growing to do list.

on friday my pixelated quilt, that i had been working on at the end of last year, achieved star status as this month's issue of love patchwork and quilting.

i obviously knew it was coming out, but to see my quilt and my name on the front cover of this fab mag was such a thrill! i am still recovering from seeing it!

and lp&q have done such a beautiful job on it. in fact they have done a stunning job on the whole magazine...the best edition yet i think. seriously if you haven't bought or subscribed to this new magazine yet, you really should.

i am very very proud of this quilt. 
i am very proud that it is on the front cover of a mag. and i am very proud of it being the first double size quilt i have made.
here's to many more of both!

this is definitely the year of hard work paying off and dreams coming true...

...and here's to seeing the big one coming true very very soon!