Monday, 28 March 2011

the home stretch

Single Girl Quilt Along ~ almost there :)

Once upon a time there were three friends who each thought it'd be a fun idea to host a single girl quilt quiltalong. But they wanted to do it together, holding hands across the oceans and have each other for support and chats. One of those friends had already made 2 single girl quilts (because she is actually a super hero), so she was an expert already. The second friend was growing increasingly larger around the middle by the day, because she was pregnant with baby number 2 (and obviously had her brain pickled by hormones when she thought it would be a good idea to start a single girl quilt). And the third friend was me, who despite an ever increasing pile of unfinished projects was determined to start another (because I am clearly not right in the head).
The intrepid 3; Nova, Megan and Katy (that's me) set off on their journey and hoped a few people might join them. Maybe 20 or 30 if they were really lucky. Their flickr group (the single girl support group) started filling up. Soon there were 263 members. 263! And the occasional odd ball that had signed up to a single girl support group thinking it might be something other than quilting (poor chickens, we had to let them down gently and free them to hunt for true love elsewhere).
The support group did exactly as it said on the box - offered support, ideas, help and love for all the single girls and some of them were a bit better organised than the hosts themselves and managed to finish king sized and queen sized quilt tops. (The mosaic at the top of the post shows some of the almost finished quilts in the flickr pool).

And mine is.........

.....still in bits. But in all honesty I don't want it to end, the quiltalong has had an amazing response from everyone. I'll still be checking in and following everyone's progress. I still need to finish my own quilt so no excuses!

in bits

And as for our intrepid trio? We'll be back, I'm pretty darn sure there'll be a quiltalong part 2. Just watch this space!

Thank you to every single person that signed up and quilted along with us. It's been amazing, you are amazing.

If you want to catch up on the previous posts they are all listed below;

Part one (marking and cutting fabrics) - Katy
Part two (piecing the arcs) - Megan
Part three (sewing curves) - Nova
Part four (assembly) - Katy
Part 5 (hand quilting) - Nova

And you can sign up to the support group here.

Monday, 21 March 2011



The scrap vomit/technicolour yawn quilt has been worked on by Chris's magic long arms (well, her long arm machine...but I do like to think of her with incredibly long arms that she rolls up and tucks into her belt).
And now for binding. I'm thinking black to tie in with the diamond shapes in the blocks rather than more scrappiness.

Today the sun is shining - it's a perfect day to sew.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

coming soon....

{ modern } relief - japan

I'll keep you updated with details but please get your wallets open and ready for a chance to donate to an incredibly worthy cause (and win some beautiful quilts as well).

Our last {modern} relief raffle raised almost $6000. I hope we can pull together and raise even more this time.

(EDITED TO ADD - if you click on the pic above it will take you to Heather's photostream in flickr and more details on how to get involved should you want to!)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Justine's giveaway + single girl part 5

dolly for Justine

My friend Justine is having a little celebration to mark her first 100 posts over on her blog.

I offered up a little Merrylegs doll (that one pictured up there) for her readers to win. So pop over to her blog and leave her a comment. You can also make your own Merrylegs doll (they're very quick and easy) using the pattern I wrote up for the Holiday Special of Fat Quarterly. It's still available from the Fat Quarterly website or etsy shop.

Part 5 of the single girl quiltalong is up on Nova's blog right now. Hand quilting. Eek. I am very afraid of hand quilting, but she makes it sound so easy and enjoyable.

All of the previous posts are listed below;

Part one - marking and cutting - me
Part 2 - sewing the arcs - Megan
Part 3 - sewing curves - Nova
Part 4 - assembly - me
Part 5 - hand quilting - Nova
Part 6 - wrap it up (March 28th) - all of our blogs

If you haven't joined in with us already, please do! It's lots of fun and the support group is a great place to ask for help and advice!!!

Monday, 7 March 2011

single girl - episode 3

single girl episode 3

Assembling your blocks.

Obviously this part is super simple - you have 4 quarters and you sew them together to make one big block. I'm not going to tell you how to do this in minute detail, but I will give you some tips on how to make your (possibly) wonky blocks match up.

Keep your 4 quarters in stacks - marked with a post it note or something on the top. You're sewing the blocks together like this;
Quarter 1 to Quarter 2.
Quarter 4 Quarter 3
So the numbers go 1,2,3,4 in a clockwise direction (see page 11 of your pattern for a diagram)

I didn't trim my quarters before I assembled the blocks. I simply shaved off any overhang on the background and then put my quarters togethers. I matched up the rings rather than any other seam - as long as the rings were formed nicely it didn't really matter whether the centre seam was a little off centre.

Try not to get too stressed about things possibly not matching as perfectly as you would like. What you have to remember is most of the fabrics were cut by hand, which isn't as precise as rotary cutting with a ruler. There are bound to be a few bits that might not be super sharp matched. But that's ok. Really, it is.
Just try to make sure your seams are nice and flat and your blocks aren't stretched out of shape. Plenty of starch/best press and steam will be your best friend.

Now - onto row assembly.

Lay all your blocks out on the floor/design wall and shuffle them around til you like the way they look. Take 'em to the machine in stacks of rows and get to work....
Sew your blocks together with a half inch seam allowance. Yes people a HALF INCH SEAM ALLOWANCE.
The larger seam allowance makes the blocks easier to handle at the ring outer edge (says Denyse).
So that's it - the basic rules here are simple.
  • don't stress about things not matching up super perfectly (if they do - you get a gold star and class presentation)
  • use a HALF INCH seam allowance when assembling the rows
  • plenty of steam and starch or best press will help your seams lay flat and your quilt look beautiful
  • head to the support group if you need a helping hand. It's not called a support group for nothin'

Next week Nova talks all about hand quilting (14th March)

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

sewing a little sunshine

true colours

This set of fabrics from the lovely Jennifer (I mean that sincerely, Jennifer Paganelli is a truly lovely person as well as being a great designer) has been cut up and sewn into a quilt top which just needs quilting and then I'll pop a tutorial over on the Fat Quarterly blog. Something super simple to use a stack of FQs that you can whip together over a lazy weekend.

The sun is trying to peek out of the clouds today. Must be something to do with the summery colours in Honey Child.

Have you heard about the Modern Madness fun we're having at Fat Quarterly? I have no clue what March Madness is all about (I'm a Brit - I'm not supposed to understand!) but John came up with a really fun idea to have a kind of contest (all in the name of fun, you understand, everyone's a winner in our eyes) to see which fabric lines you guys loved the most from the past year. Go on over to FQ and download your brackets sheet, fill it in and email it back to us. You can see our own predictions there as well.