Sunday, 31 March 2013

March in review

That's it - March is complete.  Spring should be around the corner...  we'll see!!  I had a steady month of blocks and small projects.

There two highlights in March for me.  The first was sewing my Pantone Emerald Aurifil Spool mini quilt.  Alex Veronelli (Mr Aurifil) sent me some Aurifil and an Aurifil colour card and said he loved it!  How cool is that!!?  The other highlight would be printing my own design on fabric!  I joined the Handprinted III swap and revisited screen printing from my youth!  What a great feeling that was.

White on white - yum!

I will share some pictures of the fabric I receive from the other four in the group once it all comes in.  I am looking forward to it arriving and sewing with it!  I managed to achieve my Lovely Year of Finishes goal and four of my seven 1st Quarter Finish Along goals.  It feels great to cross things of my list(s)!  But, in true Amy style, I have added a whole lot more to my list! 

Yes, March was fun - I won a Comma charm pack from Shape Moth and the gorgeous Cascade pattern from Spring Leaf Studios.  Thank you!!  April should be busy - I'm in a few swaps so I am busy planning and sewing, re-planning and sewing more.  I am desperate to start sewing the Forest QAL blocks too - they are amazing!  I hope you had a great March and here's to a fabulous April!  Here is one more picture for you - isn't he the sweetest thing?

Linking to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Checking in

I'm just checking in to say Happy Easter weekend to you all and to give you a peak at something tiny that I have been working on:

Yes, those are my tiny flying geese!  The 1 pence coin gives you an idea of the scale of my tiny paper pieced geese.  You see, I have a bag full of tiny fabric bits [you know, the bits that get cut off from making other blocks] and I just can't bear to throw any of it away, so I have been wanting to make something with the scraps.  They were a lot of fun to make.  A full reveal will happen soon!!

And here is the binding I'm using for this project: 

I plan to do some dense quilting on it and have the thread ready but need to dig out some wadding.  Thank goodness it is a 4 day weekend!  

Last week some of the London Modern Quilt girls presented a secret quilt that we made for Annie, our President, at a British baby shower.  I say 'Biritsh baby shower' because it was not wild and crazy like they are in Canada - this was a lovely calm and reserved event, and not a surprise!

I decided against having everyone put a balloon up their top, a coin between their knees to waddle over to a cup on the floor to drop the coin in (I think they call that the "Pee Game") so I went with the 'Guess the baby food flavour' instead.  I'm pretty certain all the Brits in the room think I am crazy but never mind, Annie was a true sport and tasted some pretty gross jarred organic baby food!  Here is a picture of Annie with the yummy quilt:

It was such a great group effort.  I can tell you that at our monthly guild meetings, as soon as Annie left the room, people would whip blocks out and throw them at Charlotte and we'd all go quiet when Annie returned.  It was hilarious - and she never caught on!  Too funny!  Charlotte did a fab job coordinating all of us who were in 'Project President' and then completing the quilt.  Thanks lovely!

And on that note, happy sewing everyone!

P.S. Don't forget to put your clocks FORWARD tonight for those of you in the UK!
P.S.S.  Thank you to Marjorie's Busy Corner for the bunny fabric, On the Trail Creations for the 'Let it Snow' pattern and The Noble Wife for the 'Quiltmakers Blocks' magazine. You are all so sweet - many thanks!!!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Handprinted Swap III - printed!

Happy news!!  I am finished printing my four fat quarters for my four partners.  I am sending them to the USA, New Zealand and Australia - four days ahead of schedule!  Phew.  I really hope that Kerry-Anne, Lamina, Melissa and Kelsey love what I have printed.  Here I am holding my favourite piece:

The kids in turquoise on White Kona!

I tried two different ways to make my image repeat - straight rows as above and slightly staggered as below.

Kids in magenta on White Kona!

I used Kona solids as my fabric, pre-washed to remove any starches in the fabric that may have interfered with the ink.  I made the water-soluble ink permanent by heat setting it with my iron.

Kids in sea green on Snow Kona!

 And here is the fourth one (which I love):

Kids in black on Parchment Kona!

Looking through the Flickr group you can see so much talent and imagination!  There are quite a few different techniques being used to create unique patterns and repeats.  One person used a cork!  How clever!  I was inspired to make my own selvage just as someone else did on their fq's so I recycled my quilt label screen and printed the lines I wanted at the bottom of each piece that I am sending out!  Yes, some of the selvages are wonky, but what do you expect - it is handprinted!?

Kids in white on White Kona - showing selvage!

I have no idea what I will make from my little test pieces of handprinted kids that I printed the other day but maybe I will do a giveaway soon?  Or if I ever get around to it, I may list a couple pieces in my Etsy shop.  For my packaging I folded the fq's so the main image could be seen on the front and then put them in clear cello envelopes.  I also added one of my MOO cards so each recipient could see who sent it!  I'm quite pleased with how it all turned out!

I must say that creating this fabric for this swap has been so much fun and woohoo I still have four handprinted fat quarters to arrive!!  I wonder what I will make from the ones I am sent!!??  So exciting!

Linking to Finish it Friday and TGIFF.

 Handprinted: a fabric swap III

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Testing testing ...

I joined Handprinted Swap III because I love hand printed fabric and wanted to rekindle a love affair I have with printmaking.  I tried a lot of different printmaking techniques as a teenager/twenty-something at art school and at university so I am a bit a lot rusty!!  I also joined because Leslie of Maze & Vale makes wonderful printed textiles (I have used pieces of her fabrics in a couple of my quilts) and she is the host/motivator/organiser-extraordinaire of Handprinted Swap III. 

I have the materials to make some carved block 'stamps' but what I really wanted to do for this swap was silkscreen [screen printing] so I made an image and got a custom screen made (so much easier than faffing and making my own plus I am on a deadline!!).  Here are my first few print samples that I did on Saturday night on some scraps to test the white opaque ink.

On Kona purple
On Kona Ash with an attempt at a 'repeat' of some sort
On Kona Eggplant printed in a row
I also ordered a pre-prepared screen called 'Sprigs' which I love and I tested that tonight too!  I did not design this screen so I won't be sending these out - but how cool are they!!???

On Kona Charcoal

I have White and Black inks plus Lemon Yellow, Turquoise, Magenta and Sea Green inks to play with!  Looks like I will need to wash some more fabric so I can keep experimenting!!

Stay tuned for the finished four fat quarters that I will be swapping, and for what I receive in return!  I am SO EXCITED!!!


Saturday, 16 March 2013

I am the Walrus... Ostrich actually

I hate change. I hate doing research too.  I am the Walrus, googoogajoo...  Actually I am an ostrich.  I would have waited until July to make the big switch when Google Reader gave up on us all but it seems everyone is switching over now.  So, instead of looking at all the options, I have decided to blindly follow the majority and start using Bloglovin' too.  Please follow me!  I went with the .com instead of the of my blog address as it seemed to already have followers so I hope that is the right thing to do??!!  Anyone know if that was right or wrong?

[EDIT:  press the button on the sidebar at the top right follow my blog]

Press here to follow my blog with Bloglovin'!

Thanks everyone!! 

Emerald challenge COMPLETE!

I am happy to have finally finished my Pantone Colour of the Year: Emerald challenge.  I am entering it into the Mini Quilt category over on a2 (w).  I made a gigantic Aurifil spool to look like variegated green Aurifil thread!  This mini quilt/wall hanging measures approximately 24 x 30 inches.

I used nearly 30 different low-volume fabrics for the background and I love the effect!

In the spool I did some dense quilting in an emerald coloured thread to give the effect of thread on the spool and for the background low-volume prints I tried some hand stitched circles in grey thread.  This was my first time stitching circles and I thought it may be a nice design to try.  I need more practise on hiding the finished knots but I sort of enjoyed the hand stitching in a frustrated-why-am-I-doing-this kind of way! 

The picture above shows the back of the mini with my stitched circles.  It is really neat how the circles on the front sort of disappear and melt into the low-volume.  Below is a picture of the dense quilting on the back - all before washing.  I can't wait to wash it and dry it in the tumble dryer to see how squishy and quilty it will go, especially around the hand stitched areas! 

I nearly forgot to add the hanging corners but I remembered in time!  As you can just see at the top of the hanging corner and at the bottom of the hanging corner, the binding is a variety of colours of my Oakshott fabrics to tie in the Oakshott in the spool part of the mini.  Oh how I love Oakshott fabrics!

I am so happy it is finally completed.  Emerald is my birthstone so I am quite a fan of this colour of green!  My mom gave me a ring with emeralds on it for my 18th birthday so emeralds are pretty special to me.  I have thoroughly enjoyed making my 'Aurifil' mini for the challenge.  I wonder when I will finish my other emerald mini (wonky crosses)?  I shall add it to my WiP list!!!

Linking to a squared (w) - check out all the other Pantone Emerald projects linked up.  Yum!
Linking to Finish it Friday and Monday link up.
And yay - this is my Lovely Year of finishes March goal - DONE!  [original goal setting post here]!

2013 Emerald Quilt Challenge

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Friday, 15 March 2013

Beat the Winter Blues - winner announced!

Wow - thank you everyone for your enthusiastic response to my "Beat the Winter Blues Blog Hop with Giveaways" giveaway!!  There were over 350 entries to win a frame purse that I made which will be jam packed full of scraps (with both pretty and pretty ugly scraps)!  So, big CONGRATULATIONS goes to WENDZ who said:

Wendz has left a new comment on your post "Blog Hop Party - my GIVEAWAY!":

Nice blog and inspiring finishes. 

Yay for you Wendz!!  I will email you now and I hope to get your prize in the post on Monday!  A HUGE heartfelt THANK YOU to all of my new followers too - welcome, thank you for following me and I hope you enjoy the shenanigans that I get up to!!  

Happy sewing everyone!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Destination -- PARIS

If you had 2 nights / 2 and a half days to 'explore' Paris, what would you see and do? 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Lucky LUCKY duck

I am one lucky duck... Lucky LUCKY duck actually!!  

Ange of Heart of Charnwood holds a monthly linky where you link up a project that you have made that month from a craft book.  In February I made a 'Peppermint Neck Warmer' from Fresh Quilting using yummy Oakshott fabrics.

And guess what - I won her giveaway!  Yup - I won the book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts and it is a brilliant book!  I am now planning to make the flying geese place mats (I'd like to make the flying geese quilt too) and this table runner - yum!

Thank you Ange for the motivation to use my craft and sewing books each month and thank you for this amazing book :)  Check the Monthly Book Challenge out - you will be so pleased you did!!

I said I was a lucky LUCKY duck... 

Long story short for you.  In February I blogged about my Pantone Emerald challenge mini quilt and Shevvy tweeted Mr Aurifil himself (Alex Veronelli) to show him what I made and he said he 'loved it' so I replied and cheekily said he could send me thread if he wanted to!  AND HE DID!!

I am now the proud owner of an Aurifil thread colour card (wow there are some amazing colours there) and three spools of Aurifil thread!  Yay - thank you Alex at Aurifil for making my day and sending me yummy Aurifil thread!! Sometimes it pays to be cheeky!!  Stay tuned for the finished mini quilt!

Am I a lucky LUCKY duck or what!???

PS - have you entered my giveaway yet?  Click HERE and good luck!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Blog Hop Party - my GIVEAWAY!

Beat the Winter Blues - Quilters' Blog Hop Party
My giveaway runs from 8th to 14th March 2013.
The Quilting Gallery is hosting the 'Beat the Winter Blues' Blog Hop with Giveaways and I am happy to be participating once again!

This is such a fun way to find and visit new blogs and meet new sewing-minded people -- AND  have a chance at winning something which will help to beat those terrible winter blues!

A BIG thank you for stopping in!  If this is your first time here, please do come back soon and have a little look around!  I love making all sorts of things, especially fast projects that I can complete and feel a sense of accomplishment!  I am participating in several bees and a few swaps as it is a brilliant way to try new techniques and use fabrics that I normally wouldn't have.  Plus, I get to meet lots of neat people along the way too!  Here are a few of my favourite 'makes', though some are still works-in-progress!

My giveaway:
One lucky person will win a frame purse that I made a little while ago and it will be FILLED with scraps.  We all love scraps, right!? 

Check out the gingham lining - so happy and fun!

I love scraps (especially someone else's!!) and I figure that lots of other people do too.  Hopefully the winner will like the selection I send as I have tried to include all sorts of colours.  I reckon that these scraps can be used towards a ticker tape quilt, a string quilt or even a scrap vomit quilt (I will be sure to send some 'pretty' and some 'pretty ugly' fabrics for you to enjoy!).  Scraps are fab - you can add them in to so many different projects!     

How to enter:
-Please leave a comment (any comment) on this post and be sure you have a way for me to contact you!
-If you are a follower (new or old), tell me so in your second comment! 
-This giveaway is open internationally!
-Entries close on 14th March and a winner will be chosen by RNG or similar, emailed and announced soon after.

Thank you for stopping by!  My apologies that on this occasion I will not be able to reply to comments but I wish you luck just the same!  Be sure to check out all the other blogs and their giveaways too - there are 150+ apparently!!  Happy blog-hopping! 

Friday, 1 March 2013

February - month in review

We wuz robbed -- robbed of three days!  If February had been three days longer I could have (probably, maybe, possibly) completed my February Lovely Year of Finishes goal.  Never mind.  Having to endure 28 days in the most depressing month of the year (in my opinion) was more than enough so I am actually quite pleased we are now in the month of March!!  Roll on SPRING and happy weather and the promise of lovely spring flowers (or is that spring showers?)!

February was a month of fun sewing.  I really enjoyed making the things I made - mostly all for other people!!  Here is my mosaic of the things I started and finished in 28 days:

Oops - two BOM Lucky Star blocks made it into the mosaic! I only made the one!

I managed to make a variety of bee blocks, the Block of the Month Blocks for 'Lucky Stars' and 'And Sew on' plus my Pantone Emerald project(s).  I made a couple of swap items too and I think my favourite item for the swaps was my needle case.  I used all sewing related fabrics and put buttons, needles, pins and safety pins on the pages.  I hope my secret partner likes it!

I also love my wonky crosses.  It isn't finished yet but it will be... one day!   I used some of the yummy Oakshotts from the Colour Box I received last May as a birthday present. 

February took its toll on me mentally and I thank you for your comments of encouragement and concern - it was (and is) very much appreciated.  Thank you for caring. 

Linking to Fresh Sewing Day
 Lily's Quilts

Setting a Lovely March Goal

My March goal will be to finish my "Aurifil Spool" mini quilt and link it up to the Pantone Colour of the Year linky party.  I really want it to have spectacular quilting but Mr Toyota is acting up and skipping stitches CONSTANTLY now (which is why I ripped out all the quilting I did do on my February goal) so I'm not really sure what I should do.  I am not a confident hand-stitcherer person and as much as I would love to hand stitch it, it isn't really an option due to time available....

I didn't finish my February goal (I did try realllllly hard) and now I am quite sick of looking at it [Mod Sampler quilt] and working on it that I am going to ignore it for a little while.  I started it over a year ago so what's another month or two, right!!??  Fingers crossed I can get my March goal done, despite sewing machine problems!!!

I love green so if I do get my "Aurifil Spool" done I will be really really pleased with myself and I will have another yummy mini quilt to hang here in my itty bitty cottage :)  This is the motivation I need I think!
Linking to A Lovely Year of Finishes.