A DRUNKEN TILES QUILT

I’m so excited to finally share this quilt with you today.  It’s been complete for some time now and I’ve been itching to let it see the bright lights of the blogsphere.  You may remember from this post that this quilt was originally named ‘A-quilt-that-reminds-me-of-the-beach-until-I-think-of-a-better-name’.  Well, it’s now called ‘Drunken Tiles’, and can be found in the latest issue of Fat Quarterly Magazine which is published today!

I was honoured back in November when I was sent a bundle of Sphere by Zen Chic for Moda from Lynne at Lily’s Quilts, tasked with designing and  making something for the upcoming precuts issue of Fat Quarterly.  Those of you who follow me on Instagram might have seen some colourful scribblings and a few WIP shots as I worked on this quilt earlier in the year.  I didn’t want to tempt fate and mention who it was for just in case it wasn’t good enough and I didn’t make the cut!  When I found out I had I was over joyed.  I’ve loved every minute of my quilting journey but never would have imagined, way back when I started, that a quilt I’d designed would be featured in so prominent a publication.  Things like that just don’t happen to this guy!

This quilt make full use of the fat eighths I was sent.  I was aiming for a quick and simple design that could be made up in a range of sizes and fabrics, appealing to beginners and more experience quilters alike.  I used a stack and cut approach to make the blocks, pairing the prints with coordinating Kona solids, speedily delivered by The Village Haberdashery.  I used a widescreen crosshatch print by Carolyn Friendlander for the backing, which I’ve since panic stashed, and finished the quilt off with a great bike path print by Alison Glass.  The quilting reflects the fabric collection’s circular name and is a meandering stipple with loops.

I love the fresh, zesty colours of the Sphere collection and you can see why I was quick to associate it with sun, sand and all things summer.  I feel warm just looking at it!  The fabric dictated the location of the photo shoot, the first that’s taken place away from my house.  I took advantage of a rare day of sun in Wales during March to snap the shots.

Be sure to check out the issue for all the other great quilts that are featured!

 

A STINT AT THE SEWING SCHOOL

I’m not sure how many times you can apologise before the sentiment loses sincerity but I’m gonna have one more shot at it.  I am all kinds of sorry for the lack of blogging going on around here lately.  They say (quilters more than most) that life often gets in the way of the things you really want to do, and boy has it recently, and not just in that bumping-into-somebody-you-go-left-I’ll-go-right-akwardness, I mean, really in the way, like, pitched-a-tent-in-the-middle-of-the-road-to-my-recreation in the way.

However, alongside work and chores and sleep (Oh my!), one distraction is quite exciting.  In December 2012 I took a dressmaking course here in Cardiff.  Venn Tailoring was established in 1999 and set up a sewing school a few years ago, offering a wide range of courses for all abilities and interests.  I was asked by a friend to attend the dressmaking class with her and over the ten weeks made a dress from a vintage Vogue pattern which my friend, whose wedding I was attending the following summer, wore to her reception.  McQueen I was not, but the whole experience opened my eyes to an entirely different side of sewing that has piqued my interest ever since (Great British Sewing Bee anyone?).  Since the course I’ve remained friends with the owner Angela and know that whenever I have a quilt to baste I can call in and use her very large and very useful cutting table.

The last time I was there we started a conversation about how she was interested in running a patchwork and quilting course along side her other popular classes.  I told her what a great idea I thought it was.  Patchwork and quilting have never been so popular so the timing was great.  I was eager to know more and asked who she was getting to teach it.  It was then that she asked me to do it.

I was shocked and surprised and speechless.  Me, teach a class?  But the more I thought about it, the more excited I became.  I’d already taken a quick, one-hour session on English paper piecing at work but this was a full on, four-hour day course about the basics of patchwork.  How awesome!

Fast forward a few weeks and I’ve been finishing up the class samples and working on handouts.  I’m so excited to pass on the quilting bug and get people passionate about patchwork.  The first class, on the 10th May, has been fully booked for some time now and we’ve already penciled another into the calendar which is filling up fast.  There’s even been talk about running a longer, ‘My First Quilt’ course, which would span five or six weeks and take people by the hand through the whole quilting journey, from choosing fabrics to adding a label.  How exciting!

I’ll let you know how it goes, and who knows, maybe I’ll see some of you at a class in the future?  Just don’t bring me apples…I’d much rather fabric!

STASHING #17

Happy Easter everyone!  Lots of exciting news to share soon, as well as project progress that has kept me away from blogging for longer than I’d like.  The last few weeks have been hectic and I’ve recently thrown learning Japanese into my already crazy schedule, so I apologise once again for the lack of posts of late.

Today, on this Easter Sunday Stashing, I have something much more delicious than chocolate.  Fabric, and Tula Pink fabric at that.  You may remember me talking about my increasing Tula hoard a few stashing posts back when I scored a complete Salt Water collection from Etsy.  I’m continually on the look out for any of her earlier collections and it would appear luck was on my side again this week when I found a UK online store that had over half of the Birds and the Bees collection in stock!  What a find!  With the release of  Fox Field this collection has been resigned to the limited availability section of Tula’s back catalogue, so I knew I had to have it…all of it!

Clockwise from left:

Tree of life in honey, cinnamon and pool; Swallow Skies in sunset, storm and apple; Bees Knees in lapis and forest; Squirrel in mist; Little Bits in pool, honey and mist; Lady Bugs in sugar and storm; Meteor Shower in sunset and aqua.

I couldn’t believe that so much of this collection was available!  I’m still on the look out for the other 12 and hope to add them to the stash soon.  To put the cherry on this Easter treat, Stitch Craft Create currenly have an Easter fabric sale until Sunday 27th April.  Buy any 3 units of fabric and get a 4th unit free.  To claim use the promo code FABS4 at the checkout.  I may not share my chocolate, but I’ll share the fabric love.  What did you get?

STASHING #16

I must apologise for the lack of activity around here of late, yet such stillness has been offset by feverish activity in the attic.  I’ve been working night and day to get the blocks finished for the Superhero quilt and yesterday I achieved just that!  I was so desperate to get my hands on new fabric that I went ahead and ordered the border and sashing fabrics a few days before completion, so I wouldn’t be hanging around waiting for them.

So, a small amount of stashing this week, but stashing none the less.

All from M Is For Make, the Kona black will frame the superhero blocks with a thin, quarter-inch border.  Nothing like a little black to make your colours pop!  For the sashing I wanted something with texture, and this Yarn dyed linen from Robert Kaufman is just the ticket.  When the borders and blocks combine I’m hoping for a comic book page feel.  Finally, the Kona snow is in preparation for my #NGAQB April blocks, which I hope to start soon.  As Usual, I’m linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash.  I’ve shown you mine, now show me yours…

A SUPERHERO QUILT WIP II

I’ll start by saying shouting from the lofty heights of Gotham City’s skyline… “I’m loving making this quilt!”  Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let me tell you why in a more civilised fashion.

I began this quilt with the vaguest of plans.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I really wanted to embrace my scraps and keep my eye from wandering to the neatly folded piles of yardage.  I can say that after nine completed blocks, I’ve only “made” a scrap once, and that’s because the orange was too orange to leave out!  I’ve behaved myself and so has my machine, who’s “eaten” greens, blues and yellows ravenously.  Dare I say I’m running out of scraps?

It’s the colours you see; bright, saturated, types that fly off the design wall, capes-a-flapping, begging to be sewn into a block.  Like I said, I’ve completed nine so far, each inspired by a Marvel or DC comic book character.  When I started this quilt I thought I’d sew and sew until the block looked and felt done.  I’ve since revised that now, and each of the blocks are being made with specific dimensions in mind.  I felt that if I wanted to arrange them in a comic book style then there would have to be some sort of math to help me do that.  So, one particularly slow day in work last week saw me ruler in hand, planning the layout.  With these sizes decided upon, I sew a block until it’s a little larger and will trim it back when the time comes to add the sashing.  The numbers don’t stop me from getting my improv A-game on though.  Sometimes I sew strips, other times mini log cabin units.  I stack and slice and dice so much I half imagine speech bubbles filled with ‘POW’ and ‘ZAP’ radiating from my rotary cutter.

Each block has been great fun to make, though I particularly enjoyed the two above.  The topmost features the American flag, a nod to the identity of its namesake, whilst the bottom is the biggest block I’ve ever made.  It’s 27″ long!  When I made the Incredible Hulk block I was planning on sharing all the names.  Now, I think it might be fun to do a little competition once all the blocks are finished and see if people can guess who inspired them.  Four more to go…