SIMPLY SOLIDS BLOGGER BUNDLE

A few months ago, the lovely ladies at Simply Solids, a great fabric store in Huddersfield, asked me if I’d be interested in curating a bundle for a new stash club they were rolling out. The ‘Blogger’s Choice’ bundle is made up of fabrics chosen by bloggers and quilts designers, and once the first three names were announced, it was clear that I was in awesome company. After Karen Lewis and Nicole Dakiewicz selected their fabrics, it was my turn. I thought about it for weeks beforehand and am now so excited to say that my month is live and flying through the postal system to land in the stashes of subscribers.

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As you may know, pulling fabrics is one of my favourite parts of quilt making. I went for a palette of rich blacks, hot pinks, earthy browns and a splashes of gold. I took the jumble print from Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander as my starting point and added some Handcrafted by Alison Glass, as well as some great blenders like the modern batik print by Me and You for Hoffmann Fabrics. I also couldn’t resist throwing in some Essex yarn dyed from Robert Kauffman for texture.

I received my bundle yesterday and it looks SO good in person! I think I may have outdone myself.  The metallic painter’s canvas has to be seen in real life. It’s just gorgeous!

There’s still time to sign up to the stash club and receive my bundle. Other bloggers will be announced over the coming weeks. For all the information you need to subscribe, visit simply solids here.

Thanks for dropping by!

NGAQB II – MEDALLION ROUND ROBIN

True to my word, I held off from joining anymore swaps for about, oh, I don’t, five minutes! In my defense, the latest thing to lure me with its charms is the second incarnation of the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee, which this time takes the form of a round-robin-style medallion swap.  Pretty hard to resist, right?

You may remember last year when the hashtag #NGAQB popped up all over Instagram.  It was such a fun and creative experience that there was no way I couldn’t be involved the second time around. This year, John Adams took charge to round-up seven male quilters to partake in what promises to be an awesome swap.  No different to any round robin you’ve seen before, each month will see one quilter add to another’s quilt before sending it on. Fun, fun and more fun!

I’ve spent the last few days pulling fabric and making my centre ‘square’ (a term I apply very loosely). I’ve chosen a saturated palette of deep teals, mustards and red-purples (surprised?) with accents of greys, blacks and beige neutrals.  I went for an improv approach, sewing and slashing with abandon to come up with something I hope the others guys will find inspiring.  I want each future round to reflect the quilter who added it, and instructed them that anything goes!

This first part is en route to Scott, along with a bunch of fabric, some I used and some I didn’t.  I hoping that snippets of the centre block’s fabrics scattered throughout the quilt will add some continuity and bring all the additions together.  The pile is full of Tula Pink, Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander and many more of my favourites. So much great stuff to play with!

As for my first addition, it’s going to be on a Molli Sparklified unicorn. Yes, you heard right. I’ve already got an idea of what I want to do and cannot wait for it to arrive.  Watch this space!  Have any of you experienced a round-robin swap?  Tell me all about it!

BLOGGER’S QUILT FESTIVAL – TOTEM POLE QUILT

For the first time, I’m going to enter a second quilt into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  I’ve always admired the quilts in the ROYGBIV category but never had one to share.  Well, that all changed this year with my contribution to the Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap I participated in.

Of all the quilts I’ve made recently, my Totem Pole Quilt has been the most fun.  I had a great time choosing fabrics from my scraps to piece the pattern, which I designed myself. You can read all about this quilt in the original post here.  You know you’re on to a winner when the repetition of piecing paper pieced blocks doesn’t get to you.  I can honestly say that each of these blocks was a joy to make and I’m looking forward to experimenting with a second version some time soon.

You must all know the drill by now, so go forth and browse this and all the other festival categories.  If you’re so inclined, I’d appreciate any votes you want to put my way.  Thank you!

A RAINBOW MINI QUILT SWAP QUILT

Quilt swaps are a great way to become engaged with the online quilting community.  You make friends, learn a thing or two and, at the end of it, come away with a lovingly, hand-made quilt.  You may remember I participated in a second Schnitzel and Boo swap and the Instagram Mini Quilt Swap last year.  This year I’ve signed up to three swaps, with the first being the Rainbow Mini Swap, organised by Kate Basti through Instagram.

If the hashtags for these swap (#rainbowminiswap and #rainbowteamred, green, blue, yellow and for the individual groups) are anything to go by, nothing is more inspiring than a rainbow of fabric made into a quilt.  There are some really amazing quilts to be seen, each unique and beautiful to look at.  Despite the swap name, the minis didn’t have to feature a rainbow of colour but rather take inspiration from it.

I began the process with a quick sketch.  For whatever subliminal reason, I had the image of a totem pole in my head.  I imagined bands of colours across a Joel Dewberry wood grain fabric that I had buried in the stash.  In the end, it turned out to be not quite enough, so I luckily sourced some more from Simply Solids.  I made some more sketches before deciding upon a design which I turned into a paper pieced pattern.  I decided that would be the best way to make the blocks.  With the pattern good to go I began construction.  I wanted to arrange the blocks in colour wheel order, so began with red and ended with pink-red.

I can honestly say that choosing the fabrics was the best part of making this quilt.  I had 16 coloured piles of scraps that would form the bands of the totem poles.  The background would be a mixture of crosshatch, Essex yarn dyed linen and solids to give a scrappy looks.  For the colours I went straight to my favourites; Tula pink, Alison Glass and Carolyn Friedlander, all mixed with an array of Kona solids. I also included some hand-printed fabrics by the talented Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis Textiles. I’ve long admired Karen’s work on Instagram and this was the first time I’d gotten my hands on some of her screen printed cotton.  Her designs are perfect for this sort of project, even in small pieces, and I knew I wanted to include some from the project’s earliest conception.

The quilting stumped me for a long while on this one.  I still didn’t have an idea when I was sat at the machine with the basted quilt on my lap!  In the end I just placed the quilt sandwich under the foot and went for it, ending up with and all over meander which I think brings all the piecing together.  I chose a light cream thread so’s not to distract from the colours of the blocks.  The binding was simple; a small-scale black and white print from my LQS.

This one was a hard one to give away, but I have the pattern at least so I can always make another.  Paper piecing is something I enjoy and I love the challenge of designing my own patterns.  Before I sign off, I have to share this picture of Samuel’s reaction to the quilt.  I already posted this on Instagram but what the hell, it’s funny!  Thanks for visiting!

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!

 

STASHING #12

This is gonna be a quick one, for reasons I’ll disclose soon.

Sometimes I buy fabric to hoard and look at.  Sometimes I buy fabric for a specific reason; I need it for a backing or a binding.  More often than not its imminent use means it doesn’t end up making it to the stash.  Such was the case with the binding fabric I chose for the Quilt-that-reminds-me-of-the-beach-until-I-think-of-a-better-name-quilt.  I love the clean simplicity of this print, which comes in a variety of colours, and it’ll be a perfect addition to the brightness of the beach quilt.

Sun Print by Alison Glass – Bike Path in white

Other times I don’t even buy fabric; I have it sent to me buy the loveliest people in the blogsphere.  One such example was the delightfully dapper Molli Sparkles, with whom I won’t be linking up with for Sunday Stash as he’s on the road again!  After his recent trip to Japan he returned with a wealth of goodies and my eagle eye was quick to spot some Joli Pomme amongst his loot.  This Japanese fabric is something I covet.  When I told him about the oh-so-special print his generosity saw him offer to send me some as a gift.  What a guy!  This print really has to be seen in the cloth to be truly appreciated.  Its M.C Esher in fabric!  I awaiting the perfect fabric find to repay the kind deed.

Joli Pomme – Metamorphose in black

The reason for this brief but beautiful fabric post is this is happening today…

Today’s Sunday Stash is hosted by Sarah at mila + cuatro.  Go check out all the fabric goodness.  I’ll see you all in a week!