Saturday, 30 August 2014

camp gone glamp

Next November (2015) I'll be in Ann Arbor for Glamp Stitchalot. You know how I went to Camp Stitchalot, the small and friendly retreat hosted by Brenda and Pink Castle Fabrics?, well this is the same but on a new glam level.
I'm excited because the teachers are awesome, it's a bigger camp, and it's in a fancy new venue, Kensington Court in Ann Arbor. Tula Pink, Sarah Fielke, Alison Glass, Jeni Baker, and Violet Craft are all going to be there teaching, as well as little ol' me.

We get to hang out, we get to learn stuff, eat, drink and be merry (and, of course, sew).

The dates for your diary are November 12-15 (Thursday thru Sunday) 2015. If you've never been to Ann Arbor in Michigan before let me tell you, it's such a great place. It's a cool college town with gorgeous buildings, a really hip little downtown area with amazing places to eat and it's super close to Detroit Metro airport for those (like me) who'll fly in. Obviously we'll be in our (super luxury) hotel but you could (and should) spend an extra day just checking out Ann Arbor. I would move there in a shot, it's a gorgeous town.

So what will you be doing at Glamp Stitchalot? You'll be taking a class with each of the 6 teachers and each class will give you a new skill to contribute to those that you'll need to make a mystery medallion sampler quilt designed exclusively for camp by Tula and Brenda together with the rest of us teachers. Pus you'll have plenty of time to work on your own projects and just hang out with friends, both new and old, and us teachers.

Obviously any retreat is an expensive vacation, but Brenda has thoughtfully set up a 6 monthly and also a 12 monthly payment plan to help you spread the cost.

I really hope you can make it, you can find all the details and the booking information over on the Glamp Stitchalot page.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

in shops now!

Issue 2 of Quilt Now came out today. It has a European Summer theme (that's nautical with a few other colours thrown in for fun).

It'll be on sale in the major supermarkets (Asda, Tescos, Sainsburys, and Morrisons) as well as WHSmith, local quilt shops and for the US peeps Pink Castle Fabrics...I'll update that list when I'm back from my holidays with other stockists when I know who they are). Plus there's a digital version for those that prefer it/are overseas. You can find out more about that at the quilt now blog.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Coffee Koozie

I love the free patterns Fat Quarter Shop are doing with tutorials on You Tube for those that prefer visuals (or, like me, who just like to listen to Kimberly talk because she has such a cute accent).

This is the latest - it's fun, it's super fast and it's perfect for scraps. I'm thinking this would make a really fun Christmas gift for teachers or work friends or maybe even neighbours if you like them enough. My pink (glittery!) coffee cup was really cheap from Asda...which is the UK version of Walmart (and as horrendous to visit). You could add in some treats, like chocolates or some coffee beans - which conveniently I can get from the husbeast's coffee shop without paying for them. Nice for me. A little bit on the cheap side, maybe, but just don't tell anyone, ok? And if my work friends are reading (they're not, they're too busy/disinterested in my life, I'm sure) I paid for those coffee beans you're getting for Christmas. 

You can pick up the free pattern here and view the video here.

I made a couple, and then put them both on my glittery coffee cup. Because...well..why the heck not? It's extra koozie now!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Jelly Roll Jam 2

Fat Quarter Shop are at it again with another fast, fun and free pattern using pre-cuts. This time it's the return of the jelly roll jam...for part 2! I love it when I get an email from Kimberly asking if I'd like to play along with a new pattern or a blog tour

You can download the free PDF pattern here and check out the video tutorial here.

I chose to make my version in an indigo jelly roll from Moda. It's a range of fabrics that I wouldn't normally choose, but I was drawn to the denim blues and the texture to the prints and thought it'd be a really good line for either a man, or for a classic baby quilt for a little boy. Particularly for a baby with parents that have modern tastes who might be a little put off by a 'regular' baby quilt. I've been seeing a lot of indigo dyed fabrics and clothing on pinterest and it's stuck in my head as something I'd like to try. I never have any time for much other than work these days, so I realise this is the closest I'll get to indigo dyes for a while!

I picked out the blues for this quilt (I still have a couple of blues and the beige colours left for a second quilt - this pattern makes two quilts from one jelly roll!)

It's still just a quilt top...because I'm trying to decide whether I can hand quilt it, just simply, kantha style, or whether I should machine quilt it. I'm also toying with the idea of getting more fabric to make it bigger, I just love the way these fabrics look. What do you think? Go bigger? (It'd make a really good Christmas present for a friend of mine if it was a tad bigger).

Visit the jolly jabber for more versions of this fun quilt pattern! And grab a jelly roll and the free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop today!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

what's new, pussycats?

Last weekend I was at the festival of quilts in Birmingham. It was a busy, tiring, and long few days selling subscriptions and magazines for Quilt Now, but it was a great experience and there were so many positive comments about the mag that I felt pretty fab. I got the impression from a few people since I got the job that I was employed as a face to front the mag, but that someone else did all actual editing type of work. (To be fair, I would probably have thought the same thing, I have no experience after all). Truth is - it's me. I commission the projects, I sort out the layout (as in where stuff goes in the mag), I do have help with the spreadsheets and stuff because I am useless with those, the look and the feel is down to me as well as my art editor, Denise, and our photographer, Rachel. We're on it together. It's been a tough learning curve, I've had to learn the job fast and I'll probably make mistakes. I don't fully understand the production schedule yet, but that'll come. But in short - what you see with Quilt Now is down to me, it's my baby. If you like it, yay, thank you. If you don't, I'll take it personally (but it's ok, I'll just like you a little less).
So, to everyone that came last weekend and said hi - thank you. For all the lovely things you said, thank you a million times. I can't begin to tell you how much it meant to me! Seriously, it was fantastic and it made my heart burst with pride. Denise, the art editor, came along for one day and she absolutely loved how positive and complimentary people were.

But now, on to fabric....

Pink Castle Fabrics have Priory Square on pre-order. That's my fabric (oh heck, it's been a busy few months - you have no idea how tired I am right now!) (as I'm typing this that link isn't working...hopefully it'll be sorted in a little while, maybe they're down for some server work)

Fat Quarter Shop have the new line by Frances Newcombe in stock, Cherie. Love this collection so so so much!

Newly arrived at Contemporary Cloth is Winged by Bonnie Christine. This butterfly print is my favourite of all the collection, I love it. I might have to sneak some of this in with my fabrics in a quilt....

Dreamin Vintage is in stock at Sew Me A Song . I got this bundle recently but I love it too much to cut into it yet!

Bobbie Lou's have a ton of Art Gallery Fabrics in store

This print from Safari Moon is one of my favourites from the year. it's such a great blue

This super useful bundle of minimalista is on sale at cuts of cotton

Hopping across the pond to the village haberdashery and indelible by Katarine Roccella is in stock now. You need this in your life.

Backstitch has a great selection of patterns, I'd like someone to make me these shorts in my sunday clippings print for market (please) 

I'm planning on making this date night dress out of the sunday clippings voile too. (from Fabric HQ)

Simply Solids recently started stocking some Art Gallery Fabrics. They're going to stock my fabric too...Justine is my best friend, so she didn't really have any choice to be quite honest.

I got a little over excited by Art Gallery Fabrics there didn't I? Other fabrics do exist.....

Elephant in my Handbag has Rustique by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller, which I love.

At plush addict Woodwinked from Dear Stella is in stock

And I think that's it! Next week I will be away again - I'm going on holiday, and believe me, after the year we've had we need a break. I am hoping to be completely internet free, although I may lurk about on instagram documenting my tan progress.

Issue 2 of Quilt Now is all done, it's going to come out while I'm away. It'll be in shops on August 28th, so keep an eye out for it and buy it, so I keep my job. Thanks.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Priory Square

You all heard the news, so now I think I should tell you a little bit about the collection for Art Gallery Fabrics Limited Edition, now I have some time to sit down and actually take it all in!

So, what is it all about this fabric collection of mine?

Let me talk you through each print....

The main focus print, the star of the show, is Sunday Clippings. This is a large scale floral collage print designed to resemble a scrapbook page with big blooms cut out from catalogues and botanical books. This one will be printed on both quilting weight cotton and voile. I am ridiculously excited about this print and the possibilities. I am definitely making a big quilt with a piece of this, full width, in the centre, bordered by the other prints. That will be my first quilt market booth quilt, when I get the yardage.

Next up is The Shambles. This is a reworked image of cobblestones, and is named after the little street in York (if you've been to York then you'll know where I mean!) It's a fantastic print (ha - says she!) that can be used as a dot, a textured blender, or binding. At least, that was my planning for it. I also think it looks a little bit leopard print-like, which was an awesome accident when playing with the re-colouring of the original image

Then there's Cottagely Posy, which is a delicate floral on an emerald green background. It's the local park that I spent all my time in when I was small, which was just across from my Grandparents' house and was full of grass dotted with wild flowers. Again, this was a collage but it's a more subtle rendition than Sunday Clippings. I really wanted this as voile as well, but I could only choose one print for the voile and Sunday Clippings was the obvious choice. This will definitely be made into pillowcases for my bed, using The Shambles as a faux piping trim. This print will be a knit as well as a quilting cotton. I'm thinking some leggings are a must!

Pouring Rainbows is my textured blender in a more traditional sense. This print represents the rain we get all the time in England, which is the reason everything is so green and lush. Rain makes me miserable but it makes the flowers grow, so I'm ok with it really!

Thru The Wire and Pouring Rainbows started as the same image, a wire fence, but Pouring Rainbows was played around with and manipulated to make it look like rain, whereas Thru The Wire retains it's original look. This print represents the chickens we had as children that lived at my Grandparents'. My brother hatched them from eggs at school and we took them home. Two got eaten pretty early on (by the fox not us!!!) but one lived to a grand old age (before the fox eventually got her too).

Clover Field is exactly that - a field full of clovers, little fat pompom flowers that attract the bees. I played around with it a bit, made it look less like clovers and more stylised just to give it a more modern edge, and to make it great for fussy cutting! (This will also be a knit as well as a quilting cotton).

Steeping Awakening is a simple line drawn rose metallic gold!!!!! Yay for glitter!!!!! There had to be some metallic in here somewhere, didn't there? I absolutely love this print, it's perfect as a low volume background, for borders, you could play around with the prints and actually fill some of the roses in with embroidery. I'm excited to see what people do with this one because I think there are a lot of possibilities.

And then we have You Are Here. I think this will be the most popular print, because even if you are a non-floral person you'll be able to use this so much. Who doesn't like a map print? I hunted around for vintage maps of the area I live in, and eventually found this one which isn't strictly where I live, but it is the area where i first lived when I moved up to Yorkshire and went to College. Plus, it's quite a rural area and flat so flat areas look pretty as maps because there's less lines to show the gradient of the land. It also shows all the very tiny villages that existed back in the olden days, a lot of which I think have merged together or disappeared from modern day maps. Of all the prints, this is my second favourite, after Sunday Clippings. I just love it.

And there we have it. Priory Square will be available from October, it will be shown at Quilt market in Houston (I have a booth, stop on by and see me!) and you can pre-order it now from Pink Castle Fabrics. We're currently working on a little gift you'll get if you order from there that will exclusive to Brenda's store, more on that soon. 

I hope you love it, I hope you buy it and use it in all the things!!!!!!!

You can find out more about me at the AGF blog and see a little video (where I look half asleep - because I kind of am) here. 

This is kind of amazing....

My fabric on sale for pre-order in my friend's store and one of my absolute favourite stores. There have been a lot of happy tears recently!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

scrappy bits aplique - the blog tour

I don't know if you've seen Shannon's book at all, but for those that like scraps it's a perfect buy.
Shannon asked if I'd be part of her blog tour to help promote her new book, Scrappy Bits Applique (published by Stash Books) and as soon as I saw the cover and read the premise I was hooked.

Shannon blogs over at the bottle tree. I have to admit, our paths hadn't crossed before but I'm so glad they have.
This book is a great way to use up all those little scraps that you keep but aren't sure what to do with. It combines applique with a kind of mosaic, raw edged piecing. I'm not going to tell you too much because that's what you need the book for.

Inside you'll find full details on how to use Shannon's fun (and pretty fast) technique for creating fabric from scraps and eight quilt projects.

I love the fox quilt (I also love the styling in this picture - and that dog on the couch)

But my ultimate favourite is this world map. Again, the styling is awesome and the photos throughout are really beautifully done (I notice that even more now I work in the publishing world), but I just love the quilt itself. I think it'd be a great one to make for a child's bedroom wall or to make as a gift for a travelling type.

What I particularly liked about Shannon's book is that she teaches the technique, it takes up a hole chunk of the book, and gives you the skills to go on and create your own designs. So you can make any of the eight projects but you can also use the gallery pages to find your own inspiration and create something unique to you. I do like a book that gives you skills like that, not just patterns after patterns. It's something I've noticed is happening more frequently these days, and I think it's a great thing.

Hop on over to Shannon's blog for the full list of folks taking part in the tour and for a chance to win a book on each stop.

You can win here too!  Just leave a comment on this post with a way to contact you for a chance to win a print copy if you're in the US and a digital copy if you're outside.

And you can pick up the book from all the regular places including Amazon (and UK Amazon, and book depository - sometimes people can get a bit narked when I don't leave a direct link to places within the here they are).