STASHING #23

How long do you take to answer the question “Do I really need this?”.  I asked myself that a lot this week as the department store where I work prepared to enter its summer clearance sale.  The usual things were offered up to savvy shoppers, you know, like duvets, wine glasses, saucepans and Tula Pink’s Fox Field collection.

What?  Hold the front page!

I was a shocked as you!  As a frequent visitor to the haberdashery department, I already knew that our remaining stock of Tula’s previous collection Acacia was to be reduced to half price and so had some set aside for me.  What I wasn’t expecting was the recently acquired Fox Field to follow suit.  So, with over 17 bolts of Tula goodness for around £5 a meter, I think it took me all of 0.25 seconds to say “YES!  I really, really need this.

So, nothing really new in the stash this week, just more of some old friends, 15 meters more!

 

STASHING #20

Just dropping by to share a few more slithers of fabric goodness with you all before we depart for a half term holiday.  We’ll be caravaning it for a few days in West Wales so I thought it prudent to stock up on some more Fox Field so I can work on my Rose Star Quilt lest the rain stop us from leaving.  I’ve also heard mentioned of a new fabric store close to where we are staying, so it’s highly likely I’ll return home with more fabric than I went with.  Every holiday needs a souvenir, right?

From top to bottom – Chevy Lace, Geo, Scribbles, Ponies, Leaf Zigzag and Fox Bunny in the mint colourway.

Again, I bought these in the department store where I work, who are happy to cut in 10cm increments.  These thin strips are perfect for EPP projects when only a small amount is needed.  Don’t be fooled into thinking I’m done with this collection though.  I’ll be back for larger cuts the moment I notice the bolts getting thin!  This pretty lot has already been fussily cut into and I’ll be sharing my Rose Star quilt progress soon.

No Molli this week, so I’m linking up with Quirky Hannah for Sunday Stash.

STASHING #19

Not so crazy with the fabric this week, because sometimes less is more…oh what the hell, we all know more is more when it comes to fabricitis!  That disease has gone and got me good and there ain’t no curing it!  Though even if there was, I’d push the pill to the side of my mouth and pretend to swallow it!

Just two modest offerings today.  Firstly, those of you who follow me on Instagram will know how excited I was to received my EEP templates from Paper Pieces a few days ago.  I wanted a long-term, hand sewing project and ordered a variety of shapes to see me through week-long caravan holidays and cold winter nights.  I want to really embrace fussy cutting so alongside the paper pieces I also ordered their acrylic equivalents to allow me to precise cut out the bits of fabric I need. The first of those will be these stars in mint from Fox Field by Tula Pink.  I’ve gone a little Tula crazy lately and will have more to share with you once the goodies arrive, but this will do for now.  I’m lucky in the fact that the haberdashery department in the store where I work cut in 10cm increments; perfect for smaller projects like this.

Secondly is this delightfully charming Hungry Caterpillar panel from Makower.   Again, Instagram may have given you a clue about my intended use for this but I’ll be posting more details about my Vegetable Patch Quilt soon.  For now, I’m happy to stare at the colours in this caterpillar.  So awesome!

That’s it!  Sunday means a Molli link up.  Go check out all the other stashing going on.  It’s contagious I tell you!

NO GIRLS ALLOWED QUILT BEE – APRIL

It’s always the way!  You let yourself get comfortable, throw around a little swagger and cockiness, and before you know it April’s been and gone and your bee blocks aren’t done!  Time really did catch up with me last month.  What with work and all the little side projects I had going on it was inevitable that some plates wouldn’t get spun.  Fortunately, the situation has been rectified and I’m back on track, having posted out April and May bee blocks yesterday.  Phew for a little breathing space!

When the #NGAQB started to take shape many moons ago, I was excited about all the new male quilters I’d get to meet and interact with.  It was like being invited to an exclusive club, where Facebook was our smoking room and we talked fabric rather than finance.  I had that new-boy-in-the-class feeling as I wasn’t familiar with any of the group, except one, Mr. April and the Quilt Dad himself, John Adams.

When I began quilting, Quilt Dad was a shining beacon.  He held my hand and guided me through the construction of my first quilt, for which I used his awesome wonky log cabin tutorial.  That quilt was the first I saw through to the end and would never have been as good if it weren’t for John’s informative and easy-to-understand instructions.

I’m sure that John needs no introduction to many of you quilty folk out there but as per tradition, he took a few moments to share some of himself with the group.

I am a father of three, originally from Brooklyn NYC but now living in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I live with my 9 year-old twin girls, my 8 year-old son, and a crazy German Short-haired Pointer named Bristol. Though I often wish it could be, quilting and pattern-writing is not my full-time job; by day, I lead branding and brand marketing efforts for a global software company. I am a completely self-taught quilter (thanks, blogs and internet!) and have been sewing for about 7 years now. I earned my undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina and, when I’m not sewing, enjoy cheering for the UNC Tar Heels.

I was originally inspired by the blossoming worlds both of craft blogging and modern fabrics back in 2004. I was living in Charlotte NC at the time and began mixing and matching fabrics and buying fat quarters in my local quilt shop even before I knew how to sew a stitch. I was really drawn to the creative process of mixing and matching colors and prints. That was when Amy Butler’s Lotus line had just come out, and the options for bright modern fabrics was growing like crazy. Before long, I decided I was going to make a quilt and read free tutorials online until I felt comfortable with the basics.

I started my blog, QuiltDad.com, in 2008 on a whim, mainly to be eligible to join a swap at the time but ultimately to share my love of patchwork with others.  Since then, I’ve remained very active in online quilting communities through swaps, virtual quilting bees, and guilds. Today, I try to apply my own quilting aesthetic to designing original quilt patterns for both fabric designers and companies and frequently contribute to creative blogs, books, and other collaborative endeavors. I’ve contributed to several collaborative quilt books, have two book titles of my own (Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays and the soon to be released Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements) and was a co-founder of the popular e-magazine and book series for modern quilters, Fat Quarterly.

Having said all that, the NGAQB is one of the most unique, exciting projects I’ve been a part of and I can’t wait to see the beautiful things that emerge from it.”

As he mentioned, John can be found blogging at Quilt dad and on Instagram as j_q_adams.

John requested feather blocks for his month, based on a pattern by Anna Maria Horner.  Print and colour were pretty much left up to us.  Aside from no novelty fabrics, we had a free reign.  I was guided by John’s love of pattern and chose floral and geometric prints in bright, saturated colours by Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Tula Pink and, of course, Anna herself.  I strayed from the instructions a little as I didn’t want all my feathers to be the same.  So, rather than sew long strips as per the instruction, I made smaller strip sets in different fabrics.  I really liked making one side of the feather in one piece to offset the balance.  I went for a warm grey for the feather quills and the background was Kona Snow, as per John’s request.

I went through an emotional roller coaster when I made these.  One minute I loved them, the next I wanted to fling them from the roof. !  Now that they’re done I can confidently say that I love them.  I think I’ve been bitten by the feather bed bug!  For anyone else attempted these my advice would be gentle, gentle!  The bias is prone to stretching so go carefully with your iron.  You may also want to over shoot the background, as I have done.  That way you’ll have some leeway to square up and ensure all your blocks are the same size.

I love this bee a little more with every new block I make.  The group is made up of such inspiring, dynamic men and I can’t wait to get some of their handiwork fall through my letterbox come October.  Remember to follow along using the hashtag #NGAQB and I’ll be back soon with Mr. May.

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 #11

Sometimes I get a little sad at the thought of all the great fabric collections that passed me by before I got bitten (and we’re talking radioactive bite here) by the quilting bug.  My biggest regret is that I wasn’t fabric aware enough to appreciate Heather Ross’ Mendocino upon its release.  If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have bought bolts of the stuff!

One collection I remember being released is Saltwater by Tula Pink.  I was taken by the nautical theme, and any fabric collection that features cephalopods is a sure hit with me.  Alas, these were the earliest days of my quilting adventure and although bitten, the superhero ability of stashing had yet to reveal itself.  Fast forward to now, and any new Tula collection is stocked up on and lovingly caressed.  Acacia sits nestled amongst the other coveted items of my stash, soon to my joined by Fox Field.  I’m overjoyed that I can now add Saltwater to that precious pile, having scored an amazing deal on Etsy for a fat quarter bundle of the entire collection.  These fabrics have to be seen up close and personal to truly appreciate them.  I am in love!  Although difficult to choose, I’d say the green colourway is my favourite.  I feel like I can almost taste the salty spray of the sea when I look at these.  If they have that effect on me, imagine what they’ll do to a quilt!

Clockwise from left:

Aqua – Sea Stripes, Ocean Ponies, Bubble Shells, Sea Debris, Floaties and Sinkies, Tortoise Shell, Subs and Seaweed, Octo Garden.

Clockwise from left:

Seaweed – Sea Stripes, Ocean Ponies, Bubble Shells, Sea Debris, Floaties and Sinkies, Tortoise Shell, Subs and Seaweed, Octo Garden.

Clockwise from left:

Coral – Sea Stripes, Ocean Ponies, Bubble Shells, Sea Debris, Floaties and Sinkies, Tortoise Shell, Subs and Seaweed, Octo Garden.

As usual, I’m linking up with Moli Sparkles today, who has returned from Japan with some of his own stash goodies.  Check out what other people have been adding too!

STASHING #9

Remember the spoils of the #greatukfabricdestash I mentioned in my last post?  Well, they’ve all arrived and the stash is swelling.  The point of destashing wasn’t entirely lost on me and I did sell more than I bought, though only just!  The event was a great way to give those fabrics you know you’ll never use to somebody else whilst maybe acquiring some things you’ve long coveted.  For me that was anything Tula Pink, and I was lucky enough to score some pieces from her earlier collections.

Clockwise from left:

Tula Pink – Prince Charming Turtle Bay in coral, Flutterby Snail in olive, Flutterby Bee in forest

Another fabric line I missed first time around was Alexander Henry’s ‘The Ghastlies’.  There are many great pieces to this collection and I was so pleased when this piece of yardage appeared on my Instagram feed.  I had to have it!

Alexander Henry – A Ghastlie Night in natural

Despite the vast and somewhat overwhelming amount of fabric being offered that night, I did show some restraint and came away with only a few more things.  I don’t have much information about the following pieces but I love them all the same.  The spiderweb is a perfect addition to my ever-growing collection of black and grey prints and the Japanese linen robots was too cute to leave.

photo 5

photo 3

photo 2(1)

I’m still waiting on my Dr Seuss ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ bundle which is being kept safe in California for me.  As well as fabric, I used my destashing fund on something I’ve wanted for such a long time.  My quilting life is about to get much easier as I finally have a Robert Kaufman Kona Solids colour card.  Matching colours and planning quilts is going to be a breeze now.  These cards are notoriously difficult to get hold of in the UK, particularly the most up-to-date version with all 271 colours.  If anyone wants one then one of my favourite online fabric shops M is for make has them in stock.  Be quick though, because they go fast!

This week I’m linking up with Sarah Quilts, who’s taking over hosting duties from Molli Sparkles for this week’s Sunday Stash.

(DE) STASHING #8.5

About a week ago, a hashtag swept though Instagram, leaving in its wake a trembling mass of excitable  fabricholics.  It was #thegreatfabricdestash.  A simple conception where by you post a picture of fabric you’d like to sell with said hashtag and anyone wishing to take it off your hands need only comment with their PayPal address.  First come, first served.  Simple.  I watched in awe, constantly refreshing my screen to see the newest offerings.  In the aftermath, there was a lot of commentary from UK-based quilters who were saddened that so much awesome fabric was out of their reach, either due to the sellers refusal to ship international or the sky-high prices of such shipping.  I was fortunate that my amazing American ‘”mum” Debi allows me to use her home as a makeshift post office.  I secured a great deal on a Robert Kaufman ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ bundle, though I could have spent more…a lot more.

The success of the event caught on and a few days ago an Instagram friend, lovestrawberrypatch, suggested a UK destash and I was sold.  Great fabric, without the high cost and long wait of international shipping!  Last night, everyone in the house got fed earlier than usual; me, the man and the dog, for 7pm was the time of the #greatukfabricdestash and I had to have my wits about me.  Who knew what delights might be waiting to tempt me?   I needed funds, and I needed them quick.  A quick rummage through the stash and I had a some things I was willing to part with.  Some of it was duplicates and things I’d bought far to much of, but a few were pieces I really loved, namely some of my Heather Ross Munki Munki.  I thought long and hard before deciding to destash them.  My reasoning was that I’d already sewn with them in some form or another, and unlike my stash staples; the stripes, the crosshatching and the chevrons, these pieces were a one time deal.  I’d used it and now I had to lose it.

The event was a huge success and so much fun!  A frenzied evening of fastest finger first.  There were some awesome things available.  I had my eye on some Heather Ross ‘Mendocino’ but I wasn’t quick enough and they went within seconds of being posted!  Whoever destashed them had more willpower than me; my Mendocino is stored under lock and key!  I managed to sell a fair bit and restrained myself just enough to make a profit.  I scored some great Tula Pink pieces, some ‘Ghastlies’ by Alexander Henry and a few random bits and bobs which I will share with you all in my next stashing post.

Looking at Instagram this morning, there’s  word of a #greataussiedestash so it looks like the idea has gone global!  There are still some great things to be had, so if you’re looking for a bargain or a certain fabric be sure to check the out the hashtags.

Did you get anything great from the great destash?

A LIGHTHOUSE QUILT

A little late-night hand sewing allowed me get my Lighthouse Quilt Along quilt finished yesterday.  Adding the binding to a quilt is my favourite part of the whole quilt-making process and this time was no exception.  In fact, the whole journey of this quilt was highly enjoyable.  If I had my way (and a Harry Potter style time turner) I’d quilt along all the time.  The idea of making something at the same time as somebody on the other side of the world is one of the many things that I love about our creative community.  Alas, time is not always on our side and with two quilts already in various stages of competition I wasn’t sure if I could dedicate myself to the Lighthouse Quilt Along.  I’m so glad I did!  There was paper piecing, which I love, Tula Pink, who everybody loves, and an amazing pattern by a quilter and blogger who I’d admired for a long time.  How could I possibly say no?

The quilt construction was a breeze.  My inner perfectionist always gets a bit vocal whenever I use a paper piecing pattern (seams and points and pins oh my!) but for anybody new to paper piecing, Faith’s clear and concise instructions took you by the hand and gently guided you through the process.  I intend to hang my smaller, 31″ x 31″ ‘mini quilt’ in the attic, but I can imagine a larger version of this would look stunning on a bed.

I’m so happy with the fabric choices.  The Tula Pink Acacia that I brought back from London with me didn’t last two minutes in the stash.  This was the perfect project for it.  Coupled with some Essex linen, the colours really pop.  I chose an all over quilting design, something with curves to contrast with the straight lines of the piecing, in a simple white thread and finished the quilt off with one of the simpler designs from the collection for the binding.  In fact, I think my favourite part of the whole quilt might be the small, contrasting piece in the binding.

Also, there were no close calls with the thread this time, a la the Dinosaur Quilt, so I think I’ve learnt my lesson!

LIGHTHOUSE QUILT ALONG III

The Lighthouse Quilt Along is in full swing as we reach the third week.  By now everyone should have made a test block from their chosen fabrics.  As I knew I had so many other projects to work on, I’ve managed to get ahead this past week and have already completed my quilt top.  My original plan of a 5 blocks by 5 blocks quilt, which would have finished at 40″ x 40″, has now become a mini quilt, finishing at 32″ x 32″.  The reason?   I had some Essex linen in my stash that I wanted to use for the blocks and the backing.  There wasn’t quite enough so I decided to scale down.  I could have ordered more but I really wanted to get it finished and was too impatient to wait!  The top went together really quickly as, like Faith suggests in today’s post, I made the blocks assembly line style; all the cutting, then all the sewing etc.  The whole process was simple and stress-free.

If you’d like to quilt along, visit Fresh Lemons for the template and piecing instructions and make some blocks.