Wednesday, 16 August 2017

FESTIVAL 2017

A Brilliant Day Out.....


Did you go to Festival? This year was my 6th year! It's better than Christmas I swear it, I've started saving for next year already. We had the usual cohort of myself, Kerry Q and Aunty Gail but also the added bonus of Carrie...a festival virgin if you can believe it! We set off (not so) bright and early at our usual time of 6:30am arriving just before 9 for breakfast and a planning session of where to go and when.

Our first stop is always Alice Caroline for the £1 a piece Liberty bins, but I have to say this year despite leap frogging of a sea of grannies to get to the front of the table, we left empty handed! A first in 6 years! There just wasn't the variety or the quality this year, most of them were very dull colors and none of the traditional 'Liberty' prints that we love so much, a very disappointing start!

That's not to say we didn't shop til we dropped!






The top photo are just some pretty bits I couldn't leave behind when I visited Purple Stitches (the second time!) the second are some with a tribal vibe that I am going be mixing in with my Travelling Quilt Bee blocks. If you missed the first installment of that adventure, you can find it here.






Next up an array of bright and bold Kona Solids sourced from the wonderfully helpful and exceptionally patient ladies at Simply Solids, teamed with a handful of fat quarters I picked up at The Cotton Patch from a variety of designers including Kaffe Fasset and Tula Pink. They are going to be used for a custom order I have had for something fit for an Indian Princess, who will be celebrating 70 years of wonderful life! I've got a couple of ideas but can't wait to get started on this one!

The second photo is a selection of fat quarters I bought simply because I loved the cool and calming mint and grey combo as they sat there calling to me in the boxes. I added the right hand side collection to them as I was walking around because I thought they complimented it well. I didn't have an original plan or use for them to start with, they just called my name! However I stock piled my good old favorites Kona Snow and Shadow and am now thinking that these will be used for my version of Summer Sampler 2017.




Of course it wouldn't be a successful festival trip if I didn't add to my collection of "One days", so above is my haul. You may have spied the brilliant new book by Stuart Hillard,it is fab there are so many gorgeous blocks in there that can be used literally in 100 quilts. He could not have been nicer to meet, we spent several minutes talking weddings, as he very recently tied the knot and just look at this little love note I got.....




There so many beautiful quilts on display, I always feel very inspired when I go to festival, I took as many picture as I could of the ones that spoke to me, enjoy!
























There were a couple of real howlers as well some of which were judges choices, I know everyone has a difference in opinion of what makes something good and I really can appreciate all the work that goes in to making these quilts, but I did have several "Really??" moments. Makes me hopeful for one day when I am feeling brave enough to enter something into one of these shows!

Let me know what you thought if you went along, I always love to hear from my quilty pals!

Happy Quilting 
Kerry xx

Sunday, 13 August 2017

FANCY FOREST

And A Bit Of BLING!




For those of you that follow me on Instagram (if you don't you can find me and follow my madness on @thatssewkerry) you will already know that He Liked it so He put a Ring on It, for those of you that don't follow me and have only just checked out this post in case you missed the big reveal.....He Liked it so He put a Ring on It!! I'm going to spend the rest of my life with my favorite human and am dancing like a chimp at every possible opportunity, I could not be happier.




Although I have had a bit more on my mind than usual, I promise I have not been quiet on the quilting front, I've just got to balance my time a bit more between that, wedding things (I can do these now without it being weird!) and dancing like a chimp. 




One of the first posts I ever did was about a quilt I made for my Gran, if you missed it or want a refresher, you can find the post here there are previous posts about how I made the blocks as well if you look through March 2014. They got some new furniture and she decided that a matching item was required to hang over the back of the new chair, luckily I have still got quite a few scraps and fat quarters left in most of the original fabrics I used so making it match wasn't going to be a problem. I knew straight away what I was going to attempt, Fancy Forest by the very talented Elizabeth Hartman, I've had the pattern for a while and was just waiting for an excuse to use it. I actually bought my copy from Purple Stitches last year at Festival, they are based near Basingstoke in Surrey and are one of my favorite quilt shops, well worth a visit if you've never been.



There are several sizes you can make the quilt in and there is also the option to make 1 block or a selection of blocks, mix and match with others like a sampler etc which is one of the things I really like about this pattern. It is very well written with clear instructions and really good diagrams of each step, so whatever your learning style there is something here for everyone.




The first few came together really well, they are a bit fiddly with all the diagonal seams and cutting that is involved but generally didn't take to long to put together, I was also making 2 of each at a time but I'd say including cutting about 3 hours per animal. 




You may notice my 'deliberate' mistake if you look close enough, I contemplated unpicking them and starting over but its grown on me and I actually quite like the variation. It all went down hill from here for me if I'm being honest, the last on the list was Frances Firefly and let me tell you she went flying across the room on multiple occasions.

I don't know of I was just having an off day, a funny five minutes, general blonde afternoon or a combination of it all but for love nor money could I get this firefly to look like a firefly with matching wings and color schemes. I sewed it altogether, unpicked and re-did it twice in exactly the same wrong way, then I unpicked it and sewed back together upside down! At least it shows I am human I suppose! Happily I got there in the end and now have 2 fireflies to join the party.



My mission this week is to complete the quilt top and get it quilted, but I'm still deciding whether I should alter the design slightly so I can quilt as I go or whether I should be brave and quilt the whole top in one go. Decisions decisions!!

If you've had a go or are currently having a go at Fancy Forest or any of the other wonderful creatures on offer I'd love to hear your stories, tips, tricks, highs and lows get in touch in the usual ways and I'll feature as many of you as I can.

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx


Thursday, 3 August 2017

UK TRAVELLING QUILT BEE Part 1

An Epic Adventure!


If you are an avid Instagram fan/stalker like me you may have seen several amazing pictures and posts about Travelling Quilt Bees under #travellingquiltbee #travellingquilts and about 100 variations! These are just a few of my favorites....







The idea is not to dissimilar to a traditional bee but instead of having one month where you are the queen and everyone makes 1 block each for you and you receive them that month, you make a starter block send it off and don't see your quilt for a whole year!! Scary right??!  

You pick a theme, color palette, fabric choices or ideas, create a mood board or add any details you think will help the rest of the group understand your vision and put it all in a journal of some kind for each member to add to each month. Make your starter block or blocks and send it to the first person on the list - they are always the person you send to every month so you know who you are getting from and where it is going. In July of last year I joined a fab group of ladies on Instagram and we started our very own UK Travelling Quilt Bee.

I found this picture, it is Melissa from My Fabric Relish, version of the feathers from the beautiful Dream Catcher Quilt in Love Patchwork and Quilting issue 32, I fell in love with it immediately and just knew that my quilt would be centered around this image. I did some research, made some mood boards, started sourcing fabrics and got on my merry way....







As usual with me deciding which fabrics I wanted to start with took an absolute age to work out, eventually I settled on the below, a mixture of April Rhodes for Art Gallery, Moda and Kona Solids for my first feather and got to work.








I hadn't quite decided if I wanted to make the full Dream Catcher Quilt, just the feather section or just 1 or 2 feathers for the final quilt but decided that in the interest of time and getting my starter blocks ready to send I would just make a little bit of everything that I was thinking of and work out the actual layout/design at a later stage.



I added borders to the feather block in a solid burnt orange because I wanted to emphasize and enhance the prints I had used as well as making it clear to the other Bee members the color palette I was after. By this time I was strongly leaning towards an Atec/Tribal vibe for this quilt so expanded my research into these areas and added some Flying Geese blocks.








Love Patchwork and Quilting (I swear I am not being paid to advertise) had a freebie  last year called 50 Block Designs for 5" Charm Squares, I went through that and found this fab block made up of staggered Flying Geese which I added to the side. They sort of made me think of a row of a little tribal tepee village or maybe mountains and sunsets, either way I think they were a great addition and I was really happy with the outcome.





With both the blocks and the journal complete I said goodbye to my little quilt for a whole year and posted it on to the lovely Karen and eagerly stalked the postman until Abigail from Cut and Alter's quilt arrived as she was my first that I would be adding to. There is lot of ground to cover with this Travelling Quilt so I will be splitting it in to a couple of posts and I really hope you will come back to join me and read about the rest of the journey.

If you have been involved in a Travelling Quilt Bee, are currently in one or are looking to start/join one I would love to hear from you please feel free to leave a comment or email me.

Happy Quilting 
Kerry xx

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A NEW ADVENTURE....

It's Been A While!


"Not all who wonder are lost", has always been one of my favorite quotes, sometimes life takes you to unexpected places and you have to just go with the flow, it's an adventure, be brave and take the leap! So I did, I took the leap I made some big changes to my life and had to focus my attentions on getting things done. I started studying full time again, whilst having a full time grown up job, running two households (with the help of my favorite), dealing with ups and downs, family dramas, new arrivals and some unexpected losses. 
You would think that with all this going on I didn't have time to buy fabric, sew, quilt or make pretty things? WRONG! You know me, I will always find away haha! I really had my confidence knocked and haven't felt in the right place to write about it, but I've not been idol and have got some great things to share with you!

Firstly Kerry Q did in fact say 'I DO!' and it was such a brilliant day.....



She looked absolutely beautiful, the weather was glorious and the Gin was flowing! What more can you ask for on a Friday in September?

My Favorite and I have had some grand adventures over the last year, in Ireland, Blackpool (never again!), Los Angeles, Vegas, Hastings and in a few more sleeps Boston! you'll be very pleased to hear that all of them have been littered with fabric and quilt shop stops!




There have also been a few new additions to the mix, as if I need any excuses to make more quits! Just look at those little faces, so so cute!





I'm feeling very lucky as I sit and write this from my new studio space, he did a fab job of putting up my shelves, it's a bit bigger than my previous one and in an entirely different county! The view is slightly different and there is a great deal to explore but it's been an epic adventure so far and there's plenty more to come!




It won't be so long until my next post, I promise, as I said I have been super busy making and creating so keep an eye out!

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx







Friday, 13 May 2016

PAT BRAVO "THE MINIS" TOUR

Bravo!





As many of you know I spend hours of my life on Instagram, it's literally the best invention after chocolate, and quilt fabric, ooooooo and David Beckham! It was on one such "research" mission that I came across a post from the super fab Pat Bravo, (if you don't know who she is, Pat design delicious fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics ) where she basically said 'I have designed two new lines of fabric, I want to give them to you and let you make pretty things, who wants to play?' Uuuuuuuumm me! So I put myself forward along with a large amount of others and kept my fingers crossed.

And as I'm sure you've guessed by the title of this post I was chosen, whoop whoop! In total there are 30 people from around the world who were sent a selection of fat eighths from Dare to be Bold predominantly navy and shades of blue the designs to me look like a modern take on the theme of geometric electro pop, whilst Essenials II  in Blush has a much more feminine, soft vibe to it. You can read all about Pat's idea behind The Mini Tour here.


I practically pounced on the poor Postman every day until my fabrics arrived and I was thrilled to ribbons when I opened the wrapping and found these....




I have to admit that for the first few days I just wandered in an out of my studio stroking them, well come on look how pretty they are!! I wanted to make something that showed off the various designs of the fabric, which in itself was a challenge for me as "modern" is very outside of my comfort zone, I had look in several of the quilt books I have and picked out a few blocks that I thought could work with what I had in mind. I started with the blues and geometrics of Dare but it wasn't going well and just didn't work at all!! I had had an idea for a repeat block that I'd been doodling, so I thought why not try and make this happen?? I got out my graph paper and set about drawing it out, I am a bit old school that way I can't just go straight to the computer but I get there in the end and a few hours later I had Bravo!




I'm not sure if I've mentioned that paper piecing/ foundation piecing is my most favourite thing, bit it is and that was the method I chose to create this mini quilt in. 






There are a couple of points that don't quite match exactly and a few other little niggles I need to work on, but overall I really pleased with how my first ever original block design has worked out.




There are endless possibilities with this block depending on fabric choices and placement, the size of them and the repeat options that can be created, I am really excited about trying these out but for now I am very happy with my little Bravo! who measures 12" square when finished. I added on a border, log cabin style just to finish it off and the backing is simply three panels of prettiness.








I have had such a wonderful time being a part of this Mini Blog Tour, there have been so many talented people involved and such gorgeous things made. If you have missed any of it the full line up is listed at the end of this post, be sure to check them all out and prepared to be inspired. 

Happy Quilting 
Kerry xx

Monday April 25
Laura Piland

Courtney Zadik

Tuesday April 26
Katie Skoog

Stacey Gibson

Wednesday April 27
Amanda Woodruff

Jessica Stewart

Wednesday April 28
 Erin Cox

Anjeanette Klinder

Friday April 29
Aimee Leptick

 Sharla Krenzel

Monday May 2
Christine Blessing

Cat Noonan

Tuesday May 3
Sarah Overton

Jyoti Haeusler
Sewn Modern Crafts

Wednesday May 4
Faith Essenburg

Lesley Storts

Thursday May 5
Ellen Ault

Michelle Bartholomew 
Michelle Bartholomew 


Friday May 6
Kate Basti

Kate Lyons

Monday May 9
Cindy Guch

Name: Lucy

Tuesday May 10
Marija Vujcic

Isabel Kelly
Lamb and Wolfie

Wednesday May 11
Samantha Green

Tara J Curtis

Thursday May 12
Samantha Dorn

Maja Wlusek

Friday May 13
Jemima Flendt

Kerry Smith
Thats Sew Kerry