Thursday, 28 June 2012

little packages

July is my turn to be the Queen Bee in the Brit Bee and I'm ever so excited! In my last post I showed a massive pile of fabric and have spent a good few hours since then transforming that pile into these
12 little packages of some very treasured fabric. Those 12 little packages will hopefully be heading out into the big wide world tomorrow, once I've bought some ziplock bags and a tasty little surprise to pop in with each one. Oh, and yes I said 12 packages, in case there are any eagle-eyed Bees out there that are good at counting ;)

Today is the first day of our school holidays. As anybody in the UK could probably predict, it is pouring rain. I have 2 children in the living room doing some kind of wrestling involving cushions and armchairs, and my oldest boy is upstairs sulking. Sigh.....

I have shut the living room door and am about to dive into this delicious pile of fabric. I woke up this morning and read this post by Cluck Cluck Sew and had an overwhelming urge to pull out my bundle of Freshcut by Heather Bailey. I have been admiring it for over 2 years, but have been waiting for the perfect pattern. I've pulled some co-ordinating extras (on the left - Thankyou Jo!) I'm going to chop it all up, and ignore the children and cushions that I can see rolling around the living room floor!

Right, I'm off to start cutting :)
Happy Thursday!
Fiona x

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

a cunning plan....

Today I'm plotting and planning and am soon going to get cutting, but first I'm going to do some admiring and stroking.

And maybe taking a deep breath, because it's going to be quite hard to cut up some of these lovelies!

Happy Wednesday! Hope you have have a great day, whatever you're planning :)
Fiona x

Monday, 18 June 2012

Summery blocks

I've been sewing happy summery blocks this week. It's my month to be quilter in my do.Good Stitches circle and I've asked my lovely Joy Circle ladies to make patchwork wheels following the great tutorial from Don't call me Betsy. I asked them to use fabric that makes them think of summer fruits and blue skies. Here are my blocks.
I've signed up to the Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery Block of the Month. I've never done a BOM before, but I've wanted to for a while. This was my birthday present to myself :) I'm really impressed so far. There is a very generous amount of fabric and clear instructions. I love the fabric which is Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille.
I've also been working away on my Hexagon quilt. I started this over a year ago, and I just love it. I'm using mainly American Jane fabric (because I love just about everything that Sandy Klop does!) and there's also some Denyse Schmidt and other 30s style reproduction prints in there too. These hexies travel about with me. I always take some along when I go away somewhere, and they come to work with me too. It's sunny today so I decided to pull them all out and lay them out in the sun. Don't they look pretty?!
I'm looking for more charm squares to make this as big as possible, so if anybody has any American Jane charm packs or FQs, or any other reproduction prints looking for a new home, I'm your woman! I would love to swap, or I can buy them if you'd rather. Pretty please?
Have a great week!
Fiona x

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Playing with Geese

I've had a grand old time today playing with flying geese. The lovely Trudi asked for Flying Geese blocks to start us off on the second year of the Brit Bee on Flickr using Karavan by Valerie Wells and some Kaffe Fasset scraps. Her last words on asking us to make her flying geese were "Please play and have fun with it!"

I have a great app for my Iphone called the Quick and Easy Block Tool. I really like it, it gives cutting and assembly directions for loads of quilt blocks and gives different size options. I love the Night Vision block. I made a few a while ago for a mini quilt swap, and decided that would be a good start. The last time I made them I was too scared to try anything smaller than a 6" block, but this time I went for a 3" block :)

After that I took Trudi's instructions to heart and couldn't stop playing! I didn't plan this block at all, it just kind of fell out of my head as I went. It ended up a bit of a biggie at 20", and I could have happily kept playing, but then Trudi may have ended up with a little quilt top!

The little pinwheels in the corners are made from the offcuts from some of the geese, so I decided it was fine to include them, as they are the products of the geese - oooo they are gosling blocks!

Anyway, I hope Trudi likes her block. I had a lot of fun making it :) There are some other lovely geese blocks popping up in the Brit Bee group if you fancy a gander at them (Ho ho I crack  myself up!)

Happy Wednesday
Fiona x

Monday, 11 June 2012

Winners, a walk and some HSTs

Thanks for all the comments on my little FQ Reatreat Giveaway. I sifted through the comments and found that 28 people didn't attend the retreat and would like the chance to win a FQ of London fabric.

The winners are

Sounds like you had a great time. I spent my weekend finishing up some crafts around the house and cleaning. Not nearly as exciting.

It looks like such fun. I spent the weekend in various undignified positions having tests in hospital. Not much of a laugh! Thank you for the chance to win a little something ...

You sound like you've had a great (if busy!) weekend! Loving all your loot and I would loooove a FQ. No preference for me, they are all fab! I spent the weekend cleaning and doing chores but the last 2 days with blog friend Dee!!

Looks like you had a great time at the retreat, you deserve it! Love the goodies you made there and the others you brought home!
The Next Stop London fabric is so cute! Add me to your give-away, I'm a true anglophile!

I'll try to email you before the end of the day, but if you happen to read this first, could you let me know your mail addresses, and I'll get your FQs packed up and ready to send :)

In other news, I have hardly sewn a stitch the last week. Murphy is getting big and I seem to spend all my time desperately trying to keep him out of trouble!

I took a few photos while I was out for a walk with him the other day

Some ducklings on the canal near our house

Some cygnets with their parents in the Marina
Before getting scared off by a nosey springer puppy.

Today I decided it was time to get my machine out and I grabbed the leftovers from Summer Sampler QAL quilt and had a HST fest!

It's going to be a summery cover for a cushion/pillow and I'm planning to hand quilt it using some perle.... if Murphy doesn't get hold of it first!

Thanks for all your comments on my last post. I will reply, promise, when I get a moment. I just wanted to get the winners announced before Monday is over :)

Fiona x

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A very old button box

I love vintage things, especially things that have been passed down generations in my family. I store some of my fabric in my Granny's old toybox. It is a sturdy wooden chest, handmade for her by her uncle. I also have a bag of my Great Great Aunt's handmade lace that one day I will turn into something beautiful.

This week my Aunt gave me a very old button box. She thinks that this originally belonged to my Great Great Aunt, although there have been buttons and trinkets added to it over the years. For years and years it has lived in a cupboard.

Opening it up was really exciting! There are some real little treasures in there! I thought maybe you might be interested in seeing some of them...

Among some really prettty vintage buttons, some new and some still with threads on where they have been removed from clothing, there are buckles and pins. I found an ID tag belonging to my Great Aunt, with her maiden name and a very old address.
I found a tiny thimble which must have been for a very young child. There was also an old whistle. I love the whistle! I come from a long line of school teachers, and I think this whistle must be my Granny's. She was a PE teacher before she got married.

I've tucked all these treasures back in the box for now, but I can't wait to use some of them and bring them back to life.

Have a lovely weekend!
Fiona x

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Playing with Liberty Silks

On Monday evening my husband caught me stroking the lovely little pile of Liberty Silks we were given at the Fat Quarterly Retreat against my face, and I think he was a bit scared!

I was planning what I was going to make with those beautiful soft silks and wasn't really aware of how weird I looked :)

I think my grim bus journey back to Glasgow after the Retreat may have influenced me slightly when I was dreaming about what I would make. Let's just say that a lady was asked to leave the coach before we even left the bus station because of her grumpy, abusive behaviour, and about half an hour into my painfully uncomfortable journey, the man who was wedging me up against the window was asked by the conductor to stop eating the food out of his plastic container "You're stinking out the whole coach, mate!"

I decided to make myself a little luxury travel kit :)

I used almost all of those gorgeous silks (including the strip that tied the bundle together) to make a little travel size pillow, an eyemask, a tiny lavender cushion, and an infinity scarf to keep my neck cozy :) The pillow has a little pocket to store the eyemask and the lavender cushion.

I used a baby-sized pillow from Ikea, and some leftover flannel from backing a quilt to make the back of the scarf, and line the inside of the pillow and eyemask. The whole kit is soft, silky, cozy and I hope will make even the most horrendous journey (or camping trip!) a little bit more luxurious :)

Thankyou so much again to the lovely ladies from Liberty for being so generous with their beautiful fabric!

Once I finished making my Kit, I kept up the Liberty love and used the kit I bought from  Elizabeth and Diane at the Fat Quarterly Retreat, and made this necklace. What a great little project!

Hope you're all having a great day!
Fiona x

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

FQ Retreat and a little Giveaway :)

Well I'm not really sure where to start!

I had the BEST weekend in London, attending the first Fat Quarterly Retreat. I met so many talented, friendly, creative, inspiring and funny people and attended some brilliant classes and generally had an amazing time!

I didn't take one single photo the whole time I was there! (I'm known for being rubbish at remembering to take photos. I'm always too busy having fun to remember to take any!) There are loads of people who have taken lots of great photos. You can see lots in the Flickr group and the Fat Quarterly Blog has a Kinky linky party going on where you can read everybody's blog posts about all the fun we had :)

Now that I'm home I've taken some photos of the amazing goodies we received and the stuff I made in my classes, and I'm doing a little giveaway for those who didn't get to attend the Retreat.

The Fat Quarterly Team had organised some brilliant sponsors for the Retreat. They included Pfaff,  Moda, Robert Kaufman, Aurifil, Oakshott, Abakhan, Korbond, Sizzix and the fabulous Liberty Lifestyle Fabrics.

When we arrived we were given a fantastic goodie bag full of treats, and in some of the classes we were lucky enough to get goodies too, including some gorgeous Cosmo embroidery floss, and some beautiful Liberty fabric.

I may have hyperventilated a little bit when the lovely Liberty ladies gave us some of their fabric. I think it was Katy who organised this. Thankyou Katy, I think you may have seen how excited I got when you offered me a FQ of their beautiful new quilting cotton ;)

In Kerry's class on Sunday we were offered a beautiful little bundle of Liberty silk scraps. I have plans for these and I'm so excited! I'm hoping to make up some things in the next couple of days, and then I'll do a post all about my Liberty love! :)

Here is the stuff I made in my classes. I made a frame purse with Katy (and used some of my beautiful Liberty for the lining!) Embroidery with Aneela where I stitched a sweet robin, Freezer paper piecing with Kerry where I made a spool and a house block, and portholes with Lucie, where I made a couple of circle portholes and a flower using her lovely Summersville fabric :)

Now on to the Giveaway! I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the amazing goodies we received and I've decided to share some of it with people who couldn't make it to the Retreat. If you didn't attend the Retreat and would like one of these fantastic Robert Kaufman FQs, please leave a comment on this post letting me know you'd like one. If you want you can tell me how you spent the weekend :)

If more than 4 non-attendees would like a FQ, I'll do a draw next Monday. I'm happy to post internationally, and please make sure I can contact you. If you are a no-reply blogger please leave an email address in you comment.

A huge Thankyou to the Fat Quarterly team, the teachers, the sponsors and everyone who attended the Retreat. I had a brilliant weekend and can't wait to do it again next year!!!

Now I'm off to feed my children and play with some Liberty scraps!
Happy Tuesday!
Fiona x

Friday, 1 June 2012

1st June!

May has been a really busy month for me, but when I look back over what I've made it doesn't seem that much

These last few weeks I've re-discovered my love of dressmaking.

From left to right
PJ bottoms for my daughter made using this tutorial, these only took about half an hour and my daughter loves them :)
Meghan Peasant Dress, pattern by Sis Boom
Devon Peasant Dress, pattern also by Sis Boom
Those dresses are so quick and simple to make, and are the most comfortable dresses I've ever worn! For those going to the FQ Retreat, you might see these this weekend. They are light and small to pack, and at the rate my packing is going, I'll not be able to fit much else in!

Hope you all have a great weekend, and I'll see some of you tomorrow!

I'm linking up with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day :)
Lily's Quilts
Fiona x