Friday, 20 October 2017

MODERN MAN SAMPLER

The Sequel...

Rather embarrassingly I started this quilt almost 2 years ago even though I had a set deadline life and many other things just got in the way and it sat on the side being ignored, you can see the beginning of the journey here but feeling newly motivated and with a new deadline for completion in mind, Modern Man Sampler currently looks like this 




This isn't anything like the final layout as I still have about another 17 blocks of varying sizes from 6" - 18" to go and I am also still in the process of trying to decided what these will be which isn't helping! Any ideas? The only criteria is that they are modern and manly, or traditional that can look manly!

My initial inspiration was London Calling by Quiet Play which I got off Craftsy, I actually have quite a few of her patterns because as regular readers will know I love foundation/paper piecing! The patterns are clearly marked and very easy to follow, a couple of the sections are a little bit fiddly due to the size of the pieces but the outcomes are always fantastic! My latest addition is the proud solider




I love how this turned out! He look so crisp and clean, I was a bit nervous about having so much white, but I think it makes the colors pop really well, although his face blends in a bit in the picture, it is actually Kona Flesh I've used and looks much better in person.

I also had some time yesterday to whip up a few 6" blocks from Don't Call Me Betsy's Epic Sampler I love these blocks so much, they all look good on their own or in groups or just altogether, she really is one of my true inspirations.




I found it a little bit tricky to try and get that Friendship Star to sit flat, you can see that it is still slightly wonky, I am hoping that some crafty pressing will sort it out, otherwise I shall have to rename it Wonky Star!

As well as getting my quilt mojo back in full force we've also been Wedding Fairing our little socks off! There is so much information and so much to take in, it's quite overwhelming! My favorite human has been brilliant, trailing behind carrying brochures, leaflets and business cards and ooooing and aaahhing in all the right places!! My top find of this weekend was a great florist who specializes in making rose gold foliage, as this is one of our main colors I can't tell you how thrilled I was find him, just have a look how gorgeous this is......





I've got a whole morning of quilting tomorrow with my quilt squad, looking forward to a good catch up and having a nose at all the amazing things they have been up to over the last month.

If you've been up to something wonderful you'd like to share, get in touch and I'll put it up. Alternatively if you are offering a fab BOM, Sampler or Pattern and would like to get that out there I'd be happy to help, I have so many people asking about new things to start or to test!

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx



Tuesday, 10 October 2017

STARTS AND FINISHES

An Animal Menagerie 




It feels like an age since I've had the time to sit down and share my thoughts and adventures, not for want of intention simply to much life going on! I've not been idol in fact far from it I seem to have quilts and ideas coming out my ears! 

I finished Grans Fancy Forest and thankfully it went down a treat, although the deliberate errors still really annoy me, Gran didn't mind them.





Not only has it made a great addition to the chair, but the spot has now been taken over for the very important task of story reading and general tomfoolery! 





There were many things I enjoyed about this pattern and some that didn't work so well for me, the pieces for some of the animals are very small and tricky to sew together however they do come together really quickly and the animals are all so different and really effective when put together. You can read the full story here if you missed it.

Clearly I'm a sucker for animals and a glutton for punishment because I just can't get enough of these Elizabeth Hartman patterns. My current adventure is the charming Lloyd and Lola






I started a couple of weeks ago making their faces, I find it easier to make all the same sections in one go rather than completing 1 animal at time before starting the other one, 






They were the smallest parts and the fiddliest, they also took the longest to put together but after that the bodies sprang up in a jiffy, I actually got both done in 1 afternoon when Tom was out and still managed to do 2 loads of washing and make diner. Totally got this wife in training stuff nailed!




Last but not least the legs went on and then the 'fun part' of quilting commenced. I've only just got that completed this week as we had our amazing 2 week holiday and then our engagement party and all the planning and carry on that goes with it, hence my slight delay in getting a new post up!










This is a bit of a secret project so there are parts of it that I can't reveal just yet but so far they are coming together nicely and the quilting has worked really well, I tried to be brave and go for the whole quilt approach a very basic diagonal line but still out of my comfort zone! Do you have a preference to design when whole quilting? Do you even do that? Let me know your preferred quilting method, I am always looking for new things to try out.


Speaking of new things...... these are a few I have got my eye on and am currently working out fabrics/ideas for











A mix of designs and ideas and totally different from what I would normally be drawn to, but I've always loved the idea of sampler quilts and those with a mix and match feel to them. I've never worked in these kinds of colors either so that in itself will be challenging!

If you've taken on any new challenges lately or would like to join me on mine I'd love to hear from you! Get in touch and lets make it happen!

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx

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