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…

2010 Round-up

Back at the start of 2010, I set myself some goals for the year ahead. Well 0.5 out of 3 ain’t bad, I suppose. I managed to try lots some new things like crochet, paper piecing, applique and inserting a zipper. But I pretty much failed at everything else!

I’m ok about the lack of FMQ. I’m happy with straight line quilting at the moment and am going to work on improving that before I try FMQ. I’m also ok about not making something from every craft book or not making a bigger quilt. These things will happen in time.

So instead of focussing on my failures, here’s my highlights:

  • I bought a new awesome sewing machine and made some cute pincushions
  • I did more embroidery and joined embroider-bee
  • I started learning crochet and inflicted a lovely wonky heart thingy on my hubby for Valentine’s day
  • I made some baby quilts and have made the Pointy Quilt of Torture my longest WIP
  • I started a Baby Jane quilt. A very, very pink one 🙂
  • I joined Bee Europa and got to make loads of different blocks that I’d never have tried otherwise

All in all, 2010 was a pretty good year. I could have done more over the second half, but that’s not something I can change and I had my reasons. Looking forward, there’s lots I want to do in 2011, so I’m going to get off the PC and go start doing it…


Do you think I could fit more TLA’s in that title?! I must have been desperate to sew after last week’s break because my QoT (Quilt of Torture) is off the UFO list and back to being a WIP…

I am just so loving the colours of this one! The turquoise binding is just fab and that stripy fabric – love it!!

Having the QoT ready for quilting was kinda handy because it’s not a gift so I could play around with the dual feed device on my Horizon without worrying about messing up something important. And I’m liking what I found – the dual feed was so smooth and that extra space was utter bliss 🙂

Getting the binding on was a bit more interesting though. I had a total mare of a time getting my binding strips together. I guess I’m out of practice, but my quick unpick was getting way too much use for comfort!

Then stitching the binding in place was tricky because the dual feed foot doesn’t have a 1/4″ mark like my walking foot did for my Brother 10a. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do about that because it was really hard keeping the line straight as there wasn’t a suitable edge or mark on the foot to line up against.

A bit of investigation suggests there may be a 1/4″ dual feed foot but I can’t find information to say for sure if the foot works with the 7700 or just the previous 6600 model. I think a trip to the sewing machine man might be in order…

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Spring 2010

It’s time for another Blogger’s Quilt Festival, and I really wanted to join in this time, so welcome to anyone arriving from there! The quilt I’m sharing is called Cars and Ponies (I’m good with imaginative names like that!) and I made it at the end of last year.

One of my oldest friends asked me to make this for her soon-to-arrive niece or nephew. It was so, so, so exciting to be asked to make something for someone else – all my previous quilts were gifts to family and family have to be nice about home-made gifts don’t they! But making a quilt for someone else to give as a present – eek! Did I mention I was excited?! Oh and really, really worried about messing it up!

My friend decided on the cars and ponies theme because her sister and her husband are mad about cars and ponies (they have a couple of Shetland ponies) so male or female, the baby was going to have a lot to do with both! As we were on a very tight budget we ended up using a FQ with horseshoes on it by Michael Miller, with the other fabric coming from Ikea.

The cars fabric was lovely to work with, but the other Ikea fabric was kinda coarse. I definitely learnt a lesson in fabric quality with this quilt!

I quilted it by machining a straight line down each of the strips bordering the car squares. I changed the colour depending on the main colour in the fabric which meant a lot of stopping and starting and huge numbers of ends to sew in. But I like how it emphasises the block pattern on the back of the quilt (it’s not really clear in the picture below, but hey, it gives me a reason to post a pic of the back!).

And after all the worrying, my friend and her sister loved how it turned out, which was an awesome feeling!

Then a month or two ago, I had an email from my blogging friend Nancy who was wondering where the cars fabric came from. She doesn’t have an Ikea near her, so we did a fabric swap and she made her own cars quilt (pic down the bottom). She chose a more liberated style and I love how we’ve made similar but different quilts from the same fabric!

So that’s my quilt! Thanks for stopping by and a huge thanks to Amy for all her organisation for the festival!

Lurgied up

Uuurgh, I am totally full of the cold 😦 I thought I’d been doing really well this winter but I’ve been off work for two days now 😦

On the plus side, I’ve had time to look through some of the entries from Amy’s 2009 Fall Quilt Festival. I never really had a chance until today, so I took some time out from my hectic sneezing schedule to have a look! There are so many fab quilts and it’s well worth flicking through them if you haven’t done so already. Although you might need to wait until you’ve got a spare day as there are 683 entries!

Here are some of my favs (and no, I didn’t get through all 683!):

  • QuiltinJewel’s Kameleon Quilt is incredible. It’s got buttons and you can change how it looks by changing which flaps are buttoned where. I’ve never seen anything like it!
  • This star quilt by domesticat is a) incredible and b) has a lovely story behind it…
  • Lots of lovely colours in this one by Brown Paper Packages
  • I love this arrow quilt by Zonnah’s Addictions – it’s so original

In other news, my Dear Jane book arrived today although I had it sent to work rather than home as that is usually where I am during the day! Handily, hubby works in the same place and has picked it up for me, so that’s my evening’s entertainment sorted 🙂

Am I insane to consider this?

Other contenders for the title of this post were “I think I’m going crazy” and “Somebody stop me”…!

I’ve just come across the Dear Jane quilt, and am slightly scaring myself by thinking that it could be a really fun project. There are 225 blocks in it, so at a rate of say 2 a week, it would take over 2 years to finish. But, hey, one of my 2010 goals is to make a bigger quilt!

I really like this version which looks really modern. I also love this monochromatic block by Zonnah’s Addiction who is hand-piecing this quilt. Yes, you did read hand-piecing. Now’s that’s impressive!

Oh, I’m very tempted… I must be mad.

2009 Round-up

Well, here’s to 2009 – the year I decided to get crafty!

I’ve learned to quilt, tried embroidery and done some sewing. I’ve started blogging, bought a sewing machine, been to a couple of quilt shows, discovered the joy of fabric shopping, freed up shelf space for my crafty bits and pieces, filled up said shelf space and started overflowing into another cupboard! All in all, it’s been a good year and I’ve had a lot of fun 🙂

On the blogging front, thank you so much to everyone who’s stopped by. I really appreciate the comments, hints and tips, especially when I’m stuck and don’t know what to do next!

So here’s a round-up of what I’ve done this year:


Row 1: Baby Quilt 1, Baby Quilt 2 (very imaginatively titled!)

Row 2: Baby Quilt 3, Roses for Rosa (getting more imaginative here)

Row 3: Rainbow Stacked Coins, Cars and Ponies (not a “Baby Quilt” in sight!)

Sewing and Embroidery:

Row 1: Cathedral Window pincushion, Heart cot decorations

Row 2: Colour wheel embroidery, Merry Christmas embroidery

Tonight I’m going to have a think about what I’d like to aim for, craft-wise, in 2010. There’s so much I want to do, but I think I’m going to have to narrow things down a bit because right now, it’s a VERY long list!

Completed: Cars and Ponies baby quilt

Well, sneaking in as my final finish for 2009 is the Cars and Ponies baby quilt! This is for a friend’s sister whose baby is due in January. I’m glad this is done because I was getting kinda worried that my friend would ring up saying the baby had arrived early and where was the quilt?!

The quilting is straight lines again (I really need to make time to learn FMQ-ing!). The white squares are outlined and then there’s a single line down the centre of each stripe. Pretty simple but seeing as I was stopping and starting at each stripe, I had a LOT of threads to finish off! Not sure I’ll be doing that again in a hurry!

Cars and Ponies quilt: Top done

I’ve finished the top for the Cars and Ponies quilt and it’s just too cute!

Now I know what I want to do with the quilting (only being able to do straight lines really narrows the options!) and the back is going to be more of the cars fabric, but I’m pretty stuck as to what to do for the binding. I’d originally planned to use the red horseshoe fabric, because I really like it and the print is a good size for binding, but then it wouldn’t show up against the top edge of the quilt. Is that bad? Should the binding contrast with the fabric it’s against? I dunno! Any ideas would be gratefully received 🙂

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