Tuesday 30 August 2011

I'm a bag lady

All this week, Kristie is hosting a Bag Lady Week.

I'm Miss Tuesday so pop over and see what I'm making.

The only thing that seems to tempt me off quilting is a good bag.

I just made this one.

As soon as I saw the new 'Hometown' fabric and that you could also get it in canvas, resistance was pointless.

The pattern comes from this book. The bag is the one featured on the front cover.

It requires laminate fabric for the interior. Quite fortuitously, I had some left over from a cover I made for the kitchen table.

For more bags, go and see Chief Bag Lady, Kristie.

Sunday 28 August 2011

A self-imposed exercise in restraint

In my head I am a modicum of restraint.
In reality I'm not ;-)
In my head I think I would like to live in an all white house, spending my days making monochromatic quilts.
In reality our dining room is red and another room is a smouldering green.

I admire hugely others who can achieve this, as my natural inclination is to add in every colour going and some.

So, this is my small attempt at a limited colour palette quilt.

I took the same fabric for each square and started off by adding either a grey or a white narrow border.
I kept adding rows completely randomly until I squared each block to 12".

I struggled to keep it muted. I had to start adding little pops of yellow and mustard because it was looking just too controlled for my taste.

With all blocks sewn together, I added a simple backing.

And then got to my favourite bit of the whole process...hand-quilting the life out of it.

I enjoyed making it but I feel an injection of colour coming on in my next quilt.

Friday 26 August 2011

Easily (mis)lead astray

When I saw this on Flickr I had a wobble moment. I wobbled even more when a link had been given.

I clicked on it.

I'm embarrassed to say I thought it was all in Chinese.

It's in Japanese.

Julianna was far more brave than me and said she just filled out the form not knowing what was supposed to go where.

I wasn't so brave and emailed instead.

And today, this arrived on my doorstep.

Is it OK to be in love with fabric?
You can click on this one to make larger and then wallow in the loveliness
Because I think I might be.

And then there was this little extra enclosed.
I have no idea what it says.

Welcome none-the-less.

Curious about the cost?
Wondering if it is worth ordering?

I think you have to look on it as an equivalent 'worth.'
What is it worth to you?

To me it's the equivalent of two facials.
I happen to think that is worth it!

Thursday 25 August 2011

Are you the Pooches and Pickups winner?

Well you are if you were comment number 55.

This was

Well done Laura. Please email me with your details and then I'll forward them on to the Fat Quarter Shop who will make sure you get your Pooches and Pickups fat quarter bundle.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I've certainly got a long list of films to watch. However, there was one film that got more mentions than any others - The Help. I've read the book but will have to wait until 28 October before it is released over here.

By which time I shall definitely form an orderly queue to see it.

Monday 22 August 2011

A spider's web quilt my way

 (The Pooches and Pickups giveaway is here)

I have had the spider's web quilt on my 'to do' list for a while now, especially having seen this, this and this.

However, I also kept wondering what would happen if you didn't construct it with the regular measurements ie. the exact same inches either side of the triangle.

So I decided to find out.

I used the paper piece method.

Decide on the size of square you are making. This one is 8". Cut it on the diagonal to get your half square triangles.

Fold each triangle in half along the long edge and press hard on the crease on the long edge. You should be able to see it in the above image. This denotes the centre towards which you will draw your two lines from either side of the shorter edges of the triangle.

Then, decide how much spider's web you fancy having and how much negative space you want in between. The larger your measurement out from the tip of the triangle, the bigger your spider's web will be.

On the top triangle I have measured 3" along from the top on the left hand side. If this was going to be a regular spider's web quilt, you'd then measure 3" along from the top on the right hand side.

But it isn't.

So I didn't.

Instead, I then measure 3" in from the BOTTOM right. You then draw these lines to 1/4" above the centre crease, as above.
You also need to do a mirror image of that triangle...so measure 3" along from the bottom on the left and 3" along from the top at the right.
Each spider's web block consists of eight triangles so you'll need four each of the above two types.

How you then proceed depends on how you want the finished spider's web quilt to look.
  • If you want each band of the web to be the same colour you have to make eight triangles with exactly the same colour order
  • If you want each band to match up, you need to cut the same width (1 1/2" is good)
  • If you don't want them to match up, cut strips anywhere between 1" to 2"
What I did
  • I tried to make the main spider's web all 1 1/2" strips
  • I ONLY matched up the first band of colour and the centre of the main spider's web
  • All the rest were random
  • In the secondary shape that was created from not using equal measurements, I went completely random

There are a ton of spider's web tutorials out there and I'm not going to be re-inventing the wheel by posting one here. So, instead, have a look at this excellent one if you are interested in the block construction.

And what does mine look like so far?

I decided to go for the mad, bonkers look. In the negative space I cut up two big print Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Equally, to calm it down you could just go for a solid. I appreciate my choice of fabric is not for everyone so try and focus more on the new shape that is created rather than my personal interpretation.
Note: if you do go for the mad, bonkers look, to make your shapes stand out you need to be more concerned with VALUE rather than COLOUR. By that I mean you should aim to go for a different value (lighter or darker than your bonkers fabric) so that your shapes stand out. How dark or light you go depends on how much definition you want your shapes to have.

However, what I am more interested in is the secondary shape that appears by altering your measurements.

Here's your regular spider's web shape:

And here is the secondary shape:

For me personally, I liked the unexpected added interest of the secondary shape. The possibilities are limitless. There is no set measurement that you have to go for, so you can make the secondary shape bigger or smaller, just as you can with your main spider's web shape.

I've still a fair way to go with this one but am enjoying how it is shaping up.
If I haven't made this clear, please feel free to ask any questions and I'll reply in the comments section so everyone else can see.

Thursday 18 August 2011

It's a Woof Woof giveaway!

Would you like to get your paws on your very own Pooches and Pickups fabric?

I only chose three fabrics from the complete range.
You could have fat quarters of all the Pooches and Pickups collection plus some co-ordinating solids:

Hound like a good idea? (groan)

The lovely Fat Quarter Shop are very generously offering to send one of you this gorgeous fat quarter bundle.

If you're interested it's as simple as ever:
  • Leave a comment recommending a film to watch - old or new, I don't mind
  • Leave a second comment if you're already a follower with a sentence that includes the words 'pickup' and 'quarter'
I'll use Mr Random Generator thingy to pick a winner one week from today - that's Thursday 25 August....8pm Little Island time. After which, I'll let the Fat Quarter Shop have your details and they will mail the Pooches and Pickups fat quarter bundle out to you.

Woof woof!

Monday 15 August 2011


...I can report back that it is entirely possible to almost complete a simple quilt in one day. It does help if husband is away, kids watch two Pirates of the Caribbean DVDs back to back, the phone rings and goes to the answering machine and little of note is produced from the kitchen.

Quilting was done with a walking foot, producing approximately three inch gridded squares.
To get a grid pattern going, first I marked a vertical line with tailors chalk and a ruler down the centre of the quilt. I used this as my first guide line and then subsequent guide lines were achieved with the metal bar that came with my machine's walking foot. You can see the metal bar in the image below.

I actually enjoyed this bit. The sun was streaming through the window, I had my sunglasses on and I could have been a pirate in the Caribbean myself.

Et voila.

I used a dotty grey fabric for the binding.

The back is what I had left over from my previous Woof Woof quilt along with some Kona cotton in a shade of blue I can't remember but could find out if you are desperate to know.

I'm also enjoying using crossweaves and shot cottons to give a softer 'solids' look to the quilt. The green is a Moda crossweave and I think the dark grey is too.

It's going to sit quietly in a corner now, waiting for a new owner to make his entrance into the world.

Sunday 14 August 2011

Woof Woof Part II

Part I is here

It's all very well thinking you'll keep up with your intended quilt giving when people announce Little Island babies are on the way.

However, it must have been a Very Merry Christmas for some as I have a slew of quilts I need to get done by September.

And by my self-imposed deadlines, I am behind.

So...I whipped this one up this morning on the basis I never have any 'boy' quilts tucked away to produce at the appropriate moment.

It was windy this morning.

I tried...

We tried...

And then we sought non-windy photo opportunities.

How tempted do you think I was to say 'forward, just a bit more'?

Friday 12 August 2011

Giveaway results

First one out of the hat is:

Which is:

Zen book is on its way to you.

Second number out is:

Which is:

Third number:

Which is:
And finally:

Which was:
You get the abstract book.

As 8 and 21 said they didn't mind, I'll do them in order of what was left, so 8 I will send the kids knitting book to and 21 I'll send the toothpaste knitting book to.

Please can you send me your snail mail addresses. Thank you.

Can't have a post without piccies so here's one. Thank you to our guests who left yesterday but came with gifts I will most definitely not be giving away. Bedankt!

Saturday 6 August 2011

An old-fashioned giveaway

Why is it old-fashioned?

Because I'm not asking you to:
  • become a follower
  • 'like' me on Facebook (I have no idea what that actually means as I'm not on Facebook but I've seen it so many times it must be something really good). Actually that's a bit of a lie because I did join Facebook so I could see work colleagues' photos when they were doing their round the world trip. As soon as they came back, I closed my Facebook account but two years on I still get the odd friend request (odd as in 'numbers' and not odd as in 'strange'...although they may well be). I need to work out why I think it's closed and Facebook thinks it isn't
  • Tweet about this, or is it Twitter. Don't know, not on that either. ( This is certainly food for thought)
  • Go some place else, note the first thing that appears on your screen and then come back here and tell me it is your most fave thing ever
  • sign up some place else for a newsletter that as soon as the giveaway is over you'll unsubscribe from anyway
  • blog about it

Errr, no, just leave me a comment letting me know what new (to you) quilty website you've found in recent weeks that you really enjoy and you'd like to point me in the direction of.

In return, if anyone is interested I have

Given to me as a gift, I have flicked through it but it's just a bit too abstract for me. In my mind I think I'd like to be abstract but in reality I think I'm a modern traditionalist (if that's not an oxymoron). If you want to find out more about it, there are a couple of good reviews here and Yoshiko Jinzenji has her own website if you want to get a feel for her style.

This was also a gift that has sat on my quilt book shelf gathering dust and is looking for a new home:

Historical quilt stories intertwined with hints and tips - a bit of light bed-time reading for you.

Then for the knitters among you:
According to the blurb 'over thirty five knitting designs for babies and children up to twelve years.' I made one and it gets worn in bed only by the eldest daughter. I think I know why.

And finally, there is this:
I bought the whole chuffin book just to make that tank top thingy on the front cover, salivated over the prospect (salivated with toothpaste in my mouth clearly, as that's a toothpaste splat on the ribbing by the way but I've wiped it off) and then never did anything about it. I know I'm not going to, so am giving this one away too. This book has over 60 designs with a roll-call of  21 designers contributing to the patterns.

If you're interested, the odds are most definitely in your favour as my giveaways are the stuff of legends. First one I did was a toss up between two people and in the end I sent them both something. By the time I did the second one word had got out and there were seven entrants.
It all went a bit pear-shaped with my third giveaway with over 100 comments but that was because it was done in conjunction with SewFreshFabrics. So then I got all cocky and did this giveaway but it didn't quite hit the heights of the 100 + one which I'm still smarting about.

So...if you've made it this far.
A recap.
Link to a quilty website that you enjoy and think I would too.
If you're interested in the first book, include the word 'abstract', second book 'zen', third book 'Rowan kids', fourth book 'Rowan toothpaste' and 'don't mind' if you'd be genuinely happy to receive any of the above books and are not intent on flogging them on Ebay afterwards (several of the Rowan toothpaste ones are on Ebay at the moment for around £3.50 each so you won't exactly be retiring on the proceeds).

That's it. I'll leave you with a quilt block I made today for Renee of Nellies Niceties for her month in Fresh Modern Bee II. A good idea on paper but had I known it all ended with 24 points coming together, I may have thought twice.


PS. I'll keep the giveaway open until Friday 12 August 2011,  midday Little Island time.
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