Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday stash

I may be giving away little bits of my stash for SMS giveaway day but fear not, the Black Friday sales have seen it well replenished.

I am planning to fabric fast again for (at least) the first 6 months of 2015, but it seemed churlish not to shop at this time of year when there are so many fabulous sales and offers on so many gorgeous fabrics. I know my resolve will be greater if my stash is strong, so I'm stocking up now.

I went a bit wild at Pink Castle Fabrics who had a truly awesome Black Friday sale.

First package was filled with yardage of Handcrafted by Alison Glass. 

I've been admiring this for some time and wanting some dressmaking cuts. That beautiful purple border print (3rd from bottom) has already been chopped up to make a new Geranium dress for my biggest girl. Unfortunately I failed to notice that big girls now need 2 yards of fabric for their size of Geranium. My shortfall, plus the constraints of the border print, has necessitated some rather creative cutting, so we will see how that turns out!

Happily my husband gave me the go-ahead to fill a second flat rate envelope, bless him. I wanted to fill some holes in my half yard stash so I once again selected a couple of half yard half stack bundles from the Stash Stack club (pink and yellow/green). Then added in some orange, aqua and grey blender prints to fill that envelope. Pink Castle can fit 10.5 yards of quilting weight cotton in a flat rate envelope, no point ever wasting that space!

This rainbow makes me happy

It is so hard choosing fabrics online so I was absolutely thrilled with how pretty this selection turned out to be.

And then finally a real treat. I am a big fan of Bonnie and Camille fabrics, but own surprisingly little. They are always big collections you see - forty prints or so - and I can never quite bring myself to buy the whole collection bundles. But they are so pretty, and so a layer cake it a good compromise. I've been fancying some Miss Kate for some time, and when I saw that Westwood Acres had some in their sale I couldn't resist.

Sorry, appalling photo taken in the dark!

I know you have to squint a bit to see but that's a half yard bundle of the Miss Kate scallops together with the layer cake. Gotta fill that envelope!

Right, I'm off to sell the contents of my house on Ebay to pay for this lot!

And linking up with the glorious Molli Sparkles too.

Molli Sparkles

Giveaway winner!

I was absolutely blown away by the response to my little solids giveaway, thank you all so much for taking the time to stop by my page and for your lovely comments. I am so sorry I haven't been able to reply to them all on this occasion, but do know that I have read them all.

And welcome to my new followers! I hope you enjoy popping by my little corner of the blogging and sewing world. I can promise lots of exciting developments in 2015 so I hope you'll keep reading along.

Anyway to the winner!

I used the RNG at who chose ...

... comment number 334 which is Jess.

Jess said: "I think most of what I use are subtle prints - interesting when you look up close, but reading as solids when you take a step back."

I love those blender type prints too :-)

Anyway, Jess, I have emailed you just now so please let me know your address and I will pop your bundle in the post for you.

Thanks again to everyone who participated, so sorry there can only be one winner!

Hannah x

Monday, 8 December 2014

Giveaway Day!

***GIVEAWAY CLOSED NOW as it is bedtime for me here in the UK :-) thank you for all your entries and welcome to all my new followers! ***

It's that busy time of year again - Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Hello to my regular readers and welcome to anyone popping here for the very first time. My name is Hannah and I live in Yorkshire, UK, with my husband, my 2 lovely small girls and a very needy English cocker spaniel. I started sewing in 2011 because I wanted to make a quilt for my biggest little girl! I'd never even threaded a sewing machine before that but I was hooked. Quilts remain my favourite thing to sew but I also love to make bags and clothing - especially dresses for my girls. 

I hope you will spend some time browsing, if not today (busy busy entering giveaways I know!) then another day perhaps. I've only been blogging since the start of this year so not too much in the archives!

Here are a few of my makes from recent months.

I think like many blogs this space has been a touch neglected over recent weeks and months but I have been busy sewing away and have plenty to share with you. I just wrote a post about a mini I made for the IGminiswap and you can often find me over on Instagram.

My IGminiswap mini, now in its new home.

And that brings me to my giveaway. I purchased a stack of FQs to make my swap mini and as you can see only used small amounts of each! I carefully chopped each FQ into fat eighths before I started and so I have this pretty little stack of solid F8s to give away to one lucky reader today.

Aside from a couple of random solids found in my stash these are all Kona cottons purchased from Simply Solids in the UK. Some of them are labelled and they measure approx 9.5" by 22". You will receive fifteen F8s in total. 

To enter, please leave a comment. Any comment will do, but why not tell me what you would make with these, or if that's too hard, tell me which is your favourite - prints or solids? Don't worry, you can still win if like me you have a sneaky preference for prints, maybe these will fill a gap in your stash!!

There's an extra entry for my followers old and new, just leave a second comment telling me how you follow my blog.

I am of course most willing to post internationally so this giveaway is open to everyone Worldwide. 

The giveaway will stay open until Friday 12th December at approximately 8pm GMT. I will then close the giveaway and use a random number generator to draw the winner. If I don't hear back within 48 hours I will draw again.

***I will be emailing the winner so if you are a no reply blogger or if you don't know if you are or not please consider either addressing that OR be sure and leave your email address in your comment. If I can't contact you, you can't win!! ***

Good luck!! I love giveaway week as much as everyone else does and I am so looking forward to connecting with everyone this week. I can't promise to reply to every comment on this giveaway post, especially as it is such a busy time of year, but please do know that I will read every single one and do usually try to reply as soon as I can.

Linking up with Sew Mama Sew, have fun! 


If you are on Instagram I'm sure you will have noticed - if not participated in - the IGminiswap arranged a few months ago by Sandy aka @curly_boy1. I'm not really one for swaps myself, being a rather selfish kind of sewer, but it felt like *everyone* on my feed was joining this one so I thought what the hell and went for it. 

Here's a quick share of the loveliness I received, all the way from Krystal in Utah.

This is happily one of those minis that I had secretly really wished was mine. It is lots of little Thimbleblossoms mini patterns made with all Bonnie and Camille fabric. In my late night panic I had taken the easy approach on my form and said I loved "everything Thimbleblossoms" so I hoped I was in with a shout. And I was! 

Krystal threw in some perfect extras for me too, a sweet little sewing kit, some cute FQs and these amazing fingerless mittens - one pair for each member of my family! We are all thrilled and they are being worn, thank you so much! 

So that's what I received, but this post is more importantly about what I made. 

I was a bit overwhelmed to receive my partner's information. Maggie is a rather cool NYC girl who loves pink, aqua, yellow solids and low volume backgrounds, so totally the opposite to me then!! At least we share a fondness for metallics! I really do feel that the point of swaps is to make something your partner will love so I stepped out of my comfort zone, ordered a bunch of solids in the requisite colours from Simply Solids (as these were entirely absent in my stash!) and set my brain to work. Inspiration finally struck in the form of this little card that my daughter received from someone at school. The miraculous Kelly whipped me up a paper piecing template and I got on with it. 

I keep looking at this stack. And procrastinating. And looking again. Way out of my comfort zone but I think it could be awesome. #igminiswap #teamrosanne

It was pretty fiddly, these pieces are 2" by 3" finished. And picking the papers off the back nearly finished me off!

I've just remembered why I hate paper piecing. #igminiswap #teamrosanne #fpp #paperpiecing

I quilted it with wonky wavy lines with my walking foot in Aurifil #5007 which is a really wonderful neutral blue-grey. Bound it in one of those low volume prints.

And added a label. This is Maggie's own diamond design which I made up in my favourite blender prints and wrote on using a Pigma Micron pen. I was so pleased to discover these pens as I've been really stuck for a labelling pen which doesn't feather and bleed into the fabric. Just wish I had prettier handwriting!

I did some investigating on Instagram to see what kind of extras she might like and popped in a bumper scrap pack from Karen Lewis Textiles (previously known as Blueberry Park). And a couple of Wispas!

This picture is from Maggie's Instagram, I didn't send her a half eaten Wispa!!

Overall I was really delighted with how this mini turned out. It is not something I would have ever thought to make myself, so I am so happy for the inspiration! I was rather sad to see it go.

Some pics.

I hope it is very happy in its new home. I am sure it will be.

And that's a tick off the FAL list too!

Monday, 1 December 2014

End of November, start of December

Ah, November. The month where I sewed more than I blogged. Which is an improvement on last month at least. In fact I have a whole backlog of posts to write up for the FAL, but hey, at least the items are getting finished!

Here's a sneaky peak of what I've been up to. As well as a lot of online Christmas shopping.

Top left is my Snowy Starry Night quilt, finished in September but finally revealed/ published this month in Fat Quarterly.

Top right - got my IGminiswap quilt all labelled and sent off. It should be with its recipient any day now so i will be able to share properly soon. Happily I remembered to take photos before I sent it!!

Middle left -  boring but necessary pouch commission all done.

Middle right -  the ever hilarious Hannah and I started and finished our Super Totes in two marathon sewing sessions. Post to come soon, I promise.

Bottom left - my faintly festive giant churn dash which still shamefully needs the binding sewing down.

Bottom right -  November's STQB block for Nicky which I managed to procrastinate on till the last minute, most unlike me, I blame the partial seam!

And looking ahead to Deecember ...

1) STQB. It's my month. My block isn't made and my post isn't up. Watch this space, I have a plan I promise!

2) Faintly festive churn dash. The tree is up,  the other Christmas quilt is on the sofa (and has already had a banana squashed on it today). That binding needs sewing down asap.

3) A whole ridiculously long list of pyjamas, dresses and tops that I would quite like to make for the girls, and possibly even for me. By Christmas. Ha.

4) My Christmas handwork project. We are away a lot over Christmas, which has its positives but I do feel very irked that I have lots of downtime but no ability to do my hobby when away from home. So I bought this at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.

It's by Nicola Jarvis and is a crewel work kit. I think it's rather beautiful, as are all her designs. I haven't done embroidery for about 25 years and have never done crewel work ... I bought the smaller version mainly due to cost, but having inspected its teeny tiny-ness I am rather regretting that. Anyway, we will see!!

Linking up with Lynne at Lily's Quilts and Fresh Sewing Day AKA my monthly kick up the bum!

Fresh Sewing Day

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

We have a finish!

Just a little one. Those commissioned open wide zip pouches that I have been procrastinating over for the last few weeks. The motivation this week of a little cash to spend at a Temple Spa evening gave me the nudge I needed to turn these:

into these:

I am really pleased with the finish on these, though they really aren't my favourite things to make. Getting that zipper to lie perfectly takes some fiddling and I have a quite unreasonable aversion to boxing corners. This is the small size, with a double layer of interfacing for structure, and with the corners boxed just 1.5". As always I used this awesome tutorial for perfect zipper tabs to get the neatest finish I could.  

So not the most enjoyable sew, but a satisfactory finish.

And a tick off the FAL Q4 list, hurrah!  

Monday, 10 November 2014

Snowy Starry Night

I am so pleased to finally be able to share with you my Summer's secret sewing.

This is Snowy Starry Night. My first ever quilt pattern, published in the current issue of Fat Quarterly.

Back in June sometime the lovely Lynne posted on Instagram a gorgeous bundle of the Solstice collection by Kate Spain, asking for ideas for a Christmassy project. I don't consider myself to be a natural designer but I put forward an idea for a fun, simple, festive lap quilt. Happily my idea was chosen and very soon 16 FQs of the Solstice arrived on my doorstep.

This is just half of this gorgeous line
I love these prints. It is festive without being OTT. Perfect colours and a good variety of scale in the prints. I decided it needed a darker background to set off the lighter cream and pale blue prints and Kona Steel was the perfect choice. 

The pattern itself is about everything I love in a quilt. Big blocks (16" finished!). Traditional blocks with a contemporary twist. And starightforward piecing with lots of opportunity to chain piece!

This quilt comes together fast, If you start now, you can have one finished in time for Christmas snuggling, I promise. Use those festive FQs you've been hoarding since you bought them in the sale last year (everyone does that, right?). Go super scrappy. Go wild with Christmassy novelty prints - there are plenty of big cuts here to show them off. Or just pick a colour scheme that makes you think of the Holidays - or not. This would work in Spring-like colours too if you are even more of a humbug than me ;-)

I backed the quilt in the bright red spotty flannel that I bought at Festival of Quilts. It's the Remix flannel in cherry dots by Ann Kelle, I bought it from the Eternal Maker but they don't seem to have any left.  I absolutely LOVE a flannel quilt backing but it is essential to prewash as it really does shrink. My (other) local quilt store has a great new selection of Moda flannel in at £12.99 a metre which is pretty reasonable for flannel in the UK I think. 

Anyway. I am super proud of this quilt and I do hope you all like it too. The pattern is available now at It's an online quilting e-zine and you can purchase your copy right away here. And you should, because as well as my pattern there are loads of patterns by other lovely designers including Emily, Sue, Fiona and so many more. Lots of smaller projects too, and this frankly awesome collaborative Christmas jumper quilt.

umm, wow?!
Truly, go check it out.

More pics of Snowy Starry Night. Come December this will be on our sofa for daily snuggles.

And the stats:

Fabric: Solstice by Kate Spain
Backing: Remix Flannel by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman
Binding: Scrappy Solstice
Quilting: Diagonal wavy lines by me (for a change) in Aurifil 50wt #5007 which is a great blue-grey
Size: 60" square

Monday, 3 November 2014

When crafts come home

This is a bit of an indulgent and sentimental post ... but hey, it's my blog, right? And it's been whizzing in my head for some weeks now so I thought it best just to get it out.

I don't really make gifts, as a general rule. There have been exceptions, but a handmade item is most definitely not my go to gift option. The most notable exception was my late Grandma. Because, you know, old people are kinda tricky to buy for, and she was an appreciative sort which is an absolute must when gifting handmade. She wasn't crafty herself, but her mother (my Great-Grandma, also called Hannah) was a prolific seamstress, knitter and crocheter. I think Grandma was flattering me somewhat when she said I had inherited her talent but hey, it made her happy. 

Easter 1980

And so I made her a quilt, which I knew she would love.

I think it was about the 7th quilt I made, gifted for Christmas 2012. I bought some (cheap) charm packs of Lovely by Sandy Gervais, before I knew anything whatsoever about fabric. When they arrived I realised they really weren't my thing at all but that they would be perfect for my Grandma. I paired them with some Kona buttermilk, whipped up (over the course of many, many months, you understand?) a patchwork picnic quilt and backed it in a gorgeous piece of Ruby flannel. 

Alas, this was before I knew to pattern match the backing seam ...

Sadly I didn't label it, as labelling quilts is a habit which has come late and still rather intermittently to me. But it was indeed appreciated and loved. She was very proud of it, and of me, and showed it to all her friends who came to visit. 

One of my Grandma's great flaws, however, was her reluctance to use things. Perhaps it's a generational thing, perhaps just a Grandma thing, but she was quite obsessed by things being "too good to use". Needless to say, the quilt I made for her fell into that category. And so the quilt has come back to me, having spent almost 2 years sat folded and unused at the foot of her bed. That makes me sad. 

So we are putting it to use. It has been washed. Jumped on. Slept under. And snuggled under. And just all the things that quilts need to happen to them in order to actually be quilts. Sorry Grandma, but I like it better this way.

The baby loves it too, honest.

Also come home is the cushion I crocheted for her for her 90th birthday earlier that same year. I had intended to make the quilt for then but it didn't quite happen. And this was back before I realised that I loathed crochet.

In fact, it may have actually been this cushion that made me loathe crochet.

But anyway, it looks nice enough, and has taken up happy residence on the bed of a thousand cushions.

You'll just have to use your imagination till I can get an up to date photo, but the bed owner is sleeping now

It's the Blooming Flower Cushion from Attic 24 if anyone wishes to put themselves through similar torture. 

And these? I didn't make these. I bought them for her sometime circa 1999 when I was sick of watching her take  burning hot dishes of roast potatoes out of the oven with a  tea towel. Immaculate and never used, you see? At the time I remember saying to her "I'm going to find these in a cupboard when you're dead, aren't I?". Ummm, yep. That's what happened.

I'm going to use these too. Although they are maybe a *bit* too nice to use.

Love you Grandma. Miss you xxxx

Sunday, 2 November 2014

End of October, start of November

Oh look, there went October, the month where I didn't sew much and blogged even less. Ooops. I'm not even quite sure what I did do, to be honest, but here we are, let's look forwards as well as back!

Actually I did sew, I finished my #IGminiswap mini. Well I say finished, but actually it needs a label adding. I have hit an inspirational wall on that front, and I don't want to share too much about it till it has been sent and received anyway.

Some Siblings Together quilting bee blocks for Sonia.

Also I got more fabric. A rather lovely birthday present from my mum. I missed out on Leah Duncan's Meadow line during my fabric fast, and when I saw that Westwood Acres still had full line bundles in stock I decided to grab one before it was too late. I really toyed with the half yards (my preferred cut) but instead went for the more restrained FQs and added in the same of Leah's new line Gramercy.

I think these will play so nicely together. I have no firm plans for them, but might go for my long held plans to make a Swedish Bloom quilt from Patchwork Please. This has been on my quilty bucket list ever since I saw Kerry's version

Actually what I have mostly done this month is practice my FMQ. Shocking, yes, and it seems to have swallowed all my energy and mojo, but I've been making progress and will try to share my thoughts on it soon.

Okay so, November's to do list. Rather some deja vu here ....

1) #IG mini swap needs a label

2) Those commission pouches. Cut and interfaced, not sewn. Reminder to self -  do not take commissions.

3) Vaguely festive churn dash

I have been working on this and loving it. I love this pretty slightly Christmassy stack with lots of favourite fabrics and I love the easy giant churn dash block. Watch this space.

4) Super tote.

I thought I'd missed Purse Palooza, but actually link ups are open till November 14th. Seems unlikely, but this will be next weekend's Leeds MQG sew day project. If I get it all cut this week ...

Well that's me. Just to get November off to an amazing start I've been in bed the last 2 days with some horrible flu thing. The effort of writing this has quite worn me out, off for a lie down again. Need to be right for the start of the week and the new half term. 7 weeks till Chrismas holidays!!

Sneaking in a bit late, but not too late, for Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily's Quilts.

Fresh Sewing Day