Saturday, 31 August 2013

Fabrics I should have bought more of.

 I don't know about you, but in my head I have a catalogue of 'fabrics I should have bought more of'.   A sad and sorry catalogue, with occasional surprising entries- fabrics that I wondered why I had bought ANY of that turned out to just work so well when pieced that I really, really wished I had got more. It can be a roller coaster ride tracking down  the fabric you wished you had more of, the disappointment when you realise it was only a short print run and once it is all sold, it is gone. Tula Pink's 'Nest' for example- I spent many late nights browsing the Fabric Shack site and yearning for that fabric when it first came out but didn't- STUPIDLY- order an envelope of it... at that time you could get away with an envelope of fabric arriving duty free from the USA, now that doesn't  happen, customs seem to have realised that they can make money from quilters' fabric addiction! I did get myself a jelly roll of it recently- massive duty to pay, but what the hell...

 Currently I've been hunting down this fabric, the one with the bees ( more of the blue one with the white pattern arrived in the post this morning!).

 I bought it thinking it was OK, not special, just OK, liked the bees, might make good quilt backing, it was really cheap in a sale...once I got it home I found it to be a brilliant background fabric for applique and it is one of those fabrics that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who looks at a quilt with this fabric in it goes "oooh, where did you get the bee fabric? I want some". I want some too and this time I will buy several metres. 

 This morning I found it. Woke early, bright clear cool morning with an Autumnal feel to the air, fresh coffee, toast, settle down to an online fabric hunt (I also found some seriously addictive sludgetastic fabrics that are now on my seek and aquire list, but that is by-the-by) oh, the joy of finding an elusive fabric! And as for discovering that it is available at a shop I just happen to be passing on a journey next week- well, icing on the cake, I get an excuse to visit a new-to-me quilt shop!
What are your "I wish I had bought more" fabrics?

Monday, 26 August 2013

A little leafy project for Autumn...

Playing around with a little leafy idea for Autumn....

and here it is...

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Flower Show

Yesterday was the Flower Show. A very British occasion. Giant vegetables, plates of perfect fruit, dahlias galore and flower arrangements. Good fun had by one and all

if there is a Flower Show near you, go to it! Especially if it has home-made cakes and tea on sale....

Thursday, 22 August 2013

All change! Here comes the Hat Festival.

 I wasn't going to be at the Bridport Hat Festival this year. I was going to be recovering from an operation that, I was assured, would happen this week or next. After a fortnight of calling the hospital daily to find out what was going on, I finally got a call back on Monday telling me that the operation will happen in October. Possibly. I'm not happy about this, but let's look on the bright side, it means I can go to the Hat Festival. 
 The kitchen table has been hi-jacked as a 'stall testing station'

new display cushions have been created for my Hat Pins,

 new hats pins have been put together

...brooches organised, necklaces created for some hats...who says you can't be ready with just a week's notice?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Look! No cake!

Party day- lovely sunshine, good friends, good friends with BIG appetites-cake? What cake? This is what happened to the pile of cake in the two minutes after the candles were lit and the song sung. I think we can safely say it went down well.

Saturday, 17 August 2013


It is a big weekend here. Daughter was a staggering 25 yesterday and husband is 50 on Monday. Tomorrow friends will be arriving, the Juke Box will be throbbing, Hot Dogs sizzling and cake is on the menu. When asked what he wanted for his Birthday, my husband replied "a BIG CAKE". How can I refuse? Big cake it is. Part of it for him, part for my daughter. So today is cakeday. Radio 4 and I will be working hard on creating a great big pile of cake...

Friday, 16 August 2013

Oh my! Half way through August...

 Two weeks flew by just then without a post...been pretty damn busy here. Busy making more felt necklaces in readiness for a proper revamp of my etsy shop, which, I am ashamed to say, I have been neglecting completely.

 Also been off to The Festival of Quilts, so some serious looking and fabric purchasing has gone on- got my three quilts for next year's show planned and the fabric ready. Will I avoid a last-minute speed-quilting frenzy? Also been organising and writing patterns as I have some projects in the pipeline for Popular Patchwork magazine. The first one will be the Indian Summer Runner, using fabrics from Kaffe Fassett's shots and stripes range and some of his ribbons.

 I really love ribbons and confess to having a box of them  that will 'come in useful one day' in my stash. They do get used, but the collection seems to manage to renew itself and sometimes even grow! 

Renaissance Ribbons in the USA have a glorious  range of ribbons that I have long admired from afar, at last some of them are available in the UK, so my box is rather more full than it was...I do enjoy using ribbon, fabric and buttons to cheer up dull clothes and give garments a new lease of life.

 It is very exciting that the Indian Summer runner is going to be in a magazine- I liked the fabrics very much- soft and buttery to feel and gorgeous to hand sew on. I like to piece by machine but quilt by hand as stroking the fabric and enjoying the weave is one of the real pleasures for me of working with textiles. Hand quilting makes you resist the temptation to 'over quilt' and allows the fabric to be soft and fluid. I really got quite fed up with the repetitive, formulaic and overblown machine quilting on many of the quilts at the Festival- some were quilted to the point of being rigid. Personally, I hate it! Machine quilting in skilled hands can be lovely, I'm thinking of the work on Tula Pink's quilts, but all too often it just gets taken too far for my taste, I like fabric to look and feel like fabric and quilts to drape.
 I've also been working on a painting commission- but more of that another time...must be off, work to do!