Monday, 28 October 2013

Fabulous Farmers Wife!

It was the second class of my Farmers Wife Quiltalong last week. It was the first chance for us all to 'ooh and ahh' at each others colour choices bought to life in blocks.

It was fantastic - we literally spent an hour looking at each persons interpretation of that months blocks as we worked our way around the room. It was fabulous. 

The Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt is such a favourite of mine.

I made my first version  above and am well on the way to a second version, making up new blocks for my class to use as guides each month as we tackle 7 more blocks. This is this months selection, some fun, some fiddly and some fiendish!

This class is big and busy and bursting with inspiration. 

What makes it even more incredible is that most of these women only made their first faltering 12 inch 9 patch a year ago or less, yet now they are turning out such exquisite little FMW blocks that I want to hug everyone with glee! 

This class is full to the brim and will run through until next summer, but I am already getting busy with bookings for FMW2, the dates of which I have just released on the 2014 Class Page, starting next September on Tuesdays mornings at St Anne's Hall, so if you think you'd like to make this quilt next year do drop me a note and I'll save you a space. I can definitely guarantee you won't spend a more fun 2 hours a month!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Playroom Gets a Lamp Makeover

Now that the clocks have changed and it's dark at teatime my most discerning clients commissioned me for a playroom light makeover, 'coz watching Scooby-doo in the gloom isn't co-zeee!'

I've had this lovely fabric stashed for years, it makes a fantastic lampshade don't you think? The bases were on the reduced trolley at Homebase - cheap and chic?! So of course, one lampshade wasn't enough - look! One for each child. A sophisticated French floral, a manly red check and alphabets and apples for my littlest who loves both, equally!

Keep warm in the storm tonight folks - hopefully an opportunity to hole up and get some sewing done. x

Sewing, sewing, sewing, knitting?

Gracious October seems to be rushing past at a rate of knots. It's been very mild here in the UK, not quite quilty weather yet, but the nights are drawing in, we're told a storm is brewing and I can feel the urge to hibernate beginning!

My last few weeks have been crammed full of sewing nevertheless. I have so much sewing going on at the moment that it's only natural that last week I should be seduced by Wool Week and bought myself the wool to knit a wonderful snood from a free pattern at John Lewis by Rowan.

I can't find the pattern posted online anywhere ( maybe Ravelry?) but its very similar to this one here  on the Rowan site.

You could pick up the pattern for free in John Lewis stores last week so I expect they'll still have them in the week-after-wool-week! I'm planning to knit my snood in this wool, which the nice lady in John Lewis had used for hers and it looks so toasty warm - I can't wait, although quite when I will get around to knitting it I don't know! A friend suggested if it turns cold I can just stuff the balls of wool down the front of my coat! he he. Even better is that Rowan wool is on offer on the Ocado shopping site which means it comes with your groceries and it hardly feels like you 'bought it' at all! Yay - free crafting!

Last weekend we had our termly Sewing Retreat at the lovely Buckland Hall. We all so look forward to this lovely indulgent day of sewing and good food and chat.  This weekend we powered through bunting, cross stitch, gigantic quilt-back making, glove knitting and Christmas crafting - it was a lovely day. I made a start on my Wintery Classic Patchwork Throw above. For anyone who couldn't make it this time - get the next date in your diary early - we will be back at Buckland on Saturday 8th February 2014.

Aside from knitting, at the moment I have too many projects on the go. I need to concentrate on getting some of them progressed and off of my workbench!

I never work on only one project, but there's a limit where it starts to stress me out and I think I'm there! I need some finishes, so watch the blog for some Ta Dah show and tells hopefully over the next few weeks!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Half Square Triangles (HST's)

Because i'm a sewing magpie, and I always want to be on to the next thing, and I can't resist bright colours - I just couldn't resist the urge to start cutting into this little fabric pile that I assembled a few weeks ago. It's a flash of fabulous colour in the rainy gloom. Bright vivid solid colours, paired with 'low-volume' backgrounds in soft greys. My plan is a half square triangle sampler quilt for a workshop class next year.

Fast and easy ways to make HST's on the sewing machine, then lots and lots of ideas of how to turn them into amazing patchwork patterns. I plan this class will be similar format to the Log Cabin workshop, 3 hands on classes over 3 months to allow work to take shape. I'm loving this project - check in to the blog again and see as the versatility of the HST gets explored!

More lampshades!

I am addicted - do you like my latest lampshade offering? This little corner in my kitchen is a recent addition carved out to allow me to perch in the corner as family life swirls around me, and sew a few stitches here and there, with the radio on and my feet up on my lovely e bay cross stitch footstool.

It's a very DIY corner, made up of an Ikea chair, homemade quilts and cushions ( the fairisle one used to be a favourite cardie that grew a hole), an old footstool from ebay, a cheep ikea lampstand and now a homemade lampshade. It's my favourite corner of the house - a haven!

Don't forget, if you're local and you'd like to make a lampshade to light a little corner of your house, join us on the 19th November to learn how to.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Patchwork Lampshade Joy

You know that I love patchwork right? Any sort of opportunity to pair together some lovely fabrics and I'll take it. Why use one fabric when you can use 10? Well I'm just a little bit obsessed with making lampshades at the moment, and of course they have to be patchwork!

I started off with just one, but they keep multiplying like autumn mushrooms around here at the moment. I'm just off to make a big one for my floor lamp behind my sewing chair.

If you'd like to learn how to make a completely bespoke fabric covered drum lampshade with me sign up for my class in November 19th, 10am til 12pm at St Anne's Hall. You can make your lampshade patchwork, or just use one favourite fabric, you can finally have a shade that matches your favourite quilt, let alone your curtains, cushions etc - perfection! Trust me, as the nights draw in, that lampshade will cheer you up no end too! xx

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Oops! Small re-stash!

It had to happen didn't it? Those shelves couldn't remain so empty for long..... I relapsed and had a very teeny weeny small re-stash. The hubbie was in America for work and so I couldn't resist a smash and grab at bargain US fabric prices.

I can never resist Denyse Schmidt and am already loving this new Florence line. I've mixed it in with some other bright prints and am planning to use some old Denyse Schmidt prints from the stash that obviously all survived the recent cull. I really love that Denyse's fabrics across many lines she has designed all work together - she really does have a signature style and colour palette and so it makes it an easy online buy as you just know that you'll love it. I'm not sure what i'm going to make with this little pile yet. It's been a while since I bought fabric without a project in mind. I'm enjoying the creative freedom a lovely pile of fabrics on the end of your sewing desk brings!

My other re-stash has a definite project lined up for it. It's a lovely Christmassy line from Moda, it's wintry without being too overtly Christmas. I'm not really one for the novelty Xmas elf style of Christmas fabric ( ok, only sometimes!) so this just called to me. I also almost never buy pre cuts as they usually frustrate me a bit as there's never quite enough fabric in them for me ( my cut of choice being the 1/2 metre as it's just enough, but not too much for any project) but I have been hankering after a lovely simple elegant square patchwork winter throw to get out to mark the winter season. Also my living room ceiling is about to be taken down and re fitted ( ughh, don't ask, plumbing disaster above) and so I'm thinking my new living room will get a pressie when it's had its surgery. It's a sewing kind of a day today, grey and drizzly. I'm going to go and sew x