Week Off Work Week: Day 1 photos

Today is so grey and miserable I should just have taken photos last night! Anyway, here’s what I got up to yesterday. It’s all a bit Christmasy…

A Christmas tree made from little paper Christmas trees. I’m going to frame it and put it up at the start of December.

I like the way the trees are floating off the paper!

A snowflake door hanging made from three felt tree decorations strung together. I think this is missing something though. I’m thinking that sequins in the centre of each snowflake might give it a bit of twinkle?

My first ever homemade gift tag. I’m going with parcels wrapped in brown paper, tied with red and green ribbon and one of these tags! I don’t normally have a wrapping colour scheme but I’ve been reading some fab Christmas magazines and got totally inspired to wrap pretty parcels this year 🙂 Anna helped me out with the colour scheme and gave me all the card so I could just get going…

An awesome few days

I”ve just had a fantastic two days at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. This is THE quilt show in the UK and it definitely didn’t disappoint – I know I’ve never seen that many quilts or quilts shops in one place. It was truely mind-boggling.

After a bit of an interesting start, where Mum thought that she wouldn’t need ID to board the flight, so had to go home and get it, and then we took way too long to clear security so that the flight was on a final call and I had to sprint the length of the airport to make it, we had a lovely time. I think I walked miles over the two days though. It certainly feels like it! I slept 10 hours last night and I’m still knackered. Although not knackered enough not to play with some of my new toys. More on those in the next post…

Anyway, the quilts. This was the best in show, and it truely was incredible. I think I went to see it 3 times because it was so amazing. I love the colours and the energy (I never thought I’d talking about the “energy” in a quilt, LOL). It reminds me of a chinese dragon, although I think it’s something to do with an octopus (just checked and it’s Octopussy by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga). Anyway, I’ve run out of words to describe the incredibleness that is this quilt and the picture just doesn’t do it justice…

Here’s a close up of the “eye” bit. I really have absolutely no idea how you’d go about putting something like this together. It’s even got different types of quilting in different areas:

Some of my other favs/moments of awe are:

The winner of the miniture category (Blue like a Wedgewood by Kumiko Frydl):

Check out the teeny tiny quilting:

More minis from the European Quilters Association:

Tetris (very cool!):

This was my favourite next to the Best in Show winner. It’s Blauwe-Regen (Wisteria) by Anna Maria Schipper-Vermeiren. It’s mini hexagons appliqued onto little snail trail blocks. It must have taken forever to put together…

Here’s a close up:

And some final ones that I liked, but have no idea who they’re by or what they’re called:

This one was fab – it’s letters home from a gap year son to his mum. Checkout “Mum the Visa card is really necessary” The next one says “I’m 7000 miles away and you’re still nagging”. Awesome!

There are so many other awesome quilts, but I think this is probably enough now!

Notes to self for the next time I go (there’s definitely going to be a next time):

  • I had about 3 1/2 hours on Friday and 4 1/2 hours on Saturday. I thought this might be too little, but it was about right
  • Edinburgh Airport security is attrocious. It took 30 mins to get through and I only made my plane on the final call after sprinting the length of the airport. Not a good start to the trip
  • Birmingham Airport security is fantastic. Edinburgh needs to take some tips
  • The Ramada Encore hotel is fab. Great rooms and food and nice and cheap
  • Take cash – most of the shops don’t have card machines
  • The cloakroom on the Saturday filled up by 10am. To get the luggage in, I needed to leave the hotel at 9:30
  • No rucsacs allowed (and there were security men with walkie talkies making sure the mainly eldery attendees didn’t try to smuggle one in, LOL)
  • Take pics of the quilt numbers as well as the quilts so that I can identify them afterwards!

Gone crafting

Well, after a bit of a crafty break, I’m getting back into things in style with a full crafty day with Sarah.


I’ve got big plans for today and they involve either a layer cake or two jelly rolls. Decisions, decisions…

A new group of Janiacs!

During some random blog hopping I stumbled across something really, really cool! A new group of quilters starting out doing contemporary Baby Janes. Awesome!

I haven’t found many people at a similar stage of Baby Jane-ness to me, let alone those doing more modern versions, so to find Under the Willow Tree was great. And they even have a cool logo in lots of different colours (but the pink one was a must for me).

M-9 Fan Dance & I-7 Mac and Muff

M-9: Fan Dance

I love how the seams line up on this one. Well most of them. But there’s enough to make me happy!

  • Pieces: 28
  • Fabric: Makower Fairies star burst in pink
  • Description: Foundation pieced
  • Notes: Nice and easy. Just what I needed after B-9!

I-7 Mac and Muff

Ok, this one was a pain. The border triangles are normally appliqued on, but my applique isn’t great so having seen this I decided to piece them instead, not that that turned out much easier. I kept cutting fabric wrong, ironing the seams the wrong way and having to rip and resew a lot.

But I like how crisp the triangles ended up. Much better than if I’d appliqued them. But I don’t want to do anything link that again in a hurry!

  • Pieces: 23
  • Fabric: Not sure. It’s the same one as used for A-5
  • Description: Foundation pieced center, rotary cut boarder
  • Notes: Meh. I’m glad that one’s over and done with

B-9 Tinker Toy

Ok, I now have a very healthy respect for set in seams. I was kinda worried about this block because it involved reverse applique which I’d not done before, but that really was the least of my problems! Those seams were sewn, ripped out, sewn again, sworn at, ripped out, sewn again – you get the picture.

So finally I went with the Baby Jane motto “done is better than perfect”…


  • Pieces: 13 (unlucky for some – maybe that was why it was so stressful to put together?!)
  • Fabric: I think it might be from Joann? It was sent over for my birthday by the lovely Ashley – thanks again Ashley 🙂
  • Description: Machine pieced with reverse applique for the center square
  • Notes: Do I want to go look at how many blocks have set in seams? Or would that just make me cry?!

A-5 Cathie’s Campfire & A-6 Uncle Homer

I’m back in the Baby Jane game!! It’s been a long time coming, but I really enjoyed getting going again. How is it that something so small can produce such a sense of achievement?!

A-5: Cathie’s Campfire:

  • Pieces: 29
  • Fabric: No idea. My LQS still has it in stock so I might go in an have a peek at the label!
  • Description: Foundation pieced
  • Notes: Nothing tricky here

A-6: Uncle Homer

  • Pieces: 9
  • Fabric: TW16PINK from the Darla range by Tanya Wheelan
  • Description: Rotary cut and machine pieced
  • Notes: It took a while to fussy cut the pieces, but other than that this block was a breeze! I also increased the size of the patterned squares to show off the pattern

Bye bye Bee Europa

Bee Europa 2010 is all over! This was my first bee and it gave me the chance to do loads of things I’d never have done. I made wonky blocks, spiderwebs, log cabins and hexagons. I got to use fabrics from Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler. I used my seam ripper far too much and turned the air blue on more than one occasion! But I had a lot of fun 🙂

Over the course of the year, I’ve realised I don’t really have enough time for a bee. I was regularly late with my blocks and constantly felt guilty about that. Then when I did have time for sewing, I had to prioritise my bee blocks, so they turned into a chore instead of being fun.

So I’ve decided that there are no more bees for me until I have more free time. I’m kinda sad about that but I’m also happy that I won’t be feeling guilty all the time! Roll on free time and guilt-free sewing 🙂

Today was a good day!

Today was great! I went looking for accessories for my outfit for my brother’s wedding later in the year and actually managed to get everything I needed, which is a minor miracle! Then on the way home from the shops, I popped into my LQS for heavy-weight interfacing and had a potter in the fabric section (“not to buy – just to see what they had” – as if!)!

So I came away with these fat quarters. Not sure what I’m going to do with them, but they’re too pretty to stay in the shop!

The one on the left is a Liberty print and the other two are from Moda’s Adoring line by Sandy Gervais.

I also bought another Liberty print – 2.7m of purple and turquoise loveliness, to back the quilt I haven’t started yet, made from my purple and turquoise jelly roll I got over a year ago! Purple and turquoise is such an unusual colour combination that I knew I had to snaffle the fabric up then and there!

To top it all off, I arrived home to a package of 0.5m of Kona White which I ordered for my Baby Jane blocks as I’m planning on kicking those off again.

I’ll say it again, it’s been a good day 🙂

Beyond cool!

I was reading this and down the very bottom is ohnikki’s skinned sewing machine! How cool is that!

Unfortunately it’s a Bernina thing so no can do for my Janome 😦

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