Wednesday, 27 July 2011

rollercoaster

rollercoaster

Issue 6 of Fat Quarterly is out today. The theme this time round is alternative fabrics, which covers just about anything that isn't a quilting cotton (although, to be fair, we have a pretty awesome pattern using Verandah by Amanda Murphy which is a regular cotton).
I didn't have to think too hard about what I'd use - it had to be Liberty tana lawn really. Not that I'm obsessed with the stuff. Well, not much (alright, I'm lying, I'm a freak for it.)

My little quilt is lap sized - 60 inches square, and it's nice and simple. It would have been bigger, but I ran out of red and dark blue liberty prints (and resisted the urge to go shopping for more too - that's restraint). You could also use a jelly roll, or charm packs. Or scraps. Or anything.

rollercoaster sneak peek

Thursday, 21 July 2011

turning thoughts into actions

tumblers

I have to admit I was a little surprised that so many people said they would actually come to my house for a workshop following my last post. I'm going to make that happen. Watch this space.

In the meantime, if you fancy a trip to Lowestoft (which has lovely beaches, by the way - I know because I used to go to them when I was little) and would like to learn how to make a quilted tumbler cushion like the 2 up there then head on over to the Patch Fabrics website and check it out.
On Saturday September 17th I'll be teaching a class that if you're not a quilter and would like to learn will give you all the basics in a day. From cutting fabrics using templates and a rotary cutter and ruler, to sewing and matching points, basting, quilting and binding, as well as making an envelope style back for a cushion.
If you're already a quilter, come anyway, you won't need to concentrate as much and we can just gas.
Either way it'll be fun, right? Claire will make us tea and coffee and lunch and bring us biscuits. I don't think I could ask for more, really.

All the details (such as price and times and how to book) are HERE. Places are limited, I think there are only 6 or 7 spots so don't think about it, just book.

(EDITED TO ADD - Claire and I are both away on holiday until August 1st..not together...just at the same time... so if you have any questions that her shop assistant can't answer, don't fret - we'll help you out when we get back)

tumbler pillow

Thursday, 14 July 2011

thinking out loud

pillow talk swap - front

If I did a small, intimate workshop from my house (near Wakefield, West Yorks) for a few people for something like a dresden plate pillow, or maybe english paper pieced hexagons, or the tumbler pillow I made recently, would anyone be interested?

charm pack pillow

Thinking out loud, there'd be tea on tap, lunch, probably cake, definitely biscuits, and all the bits and bobs you'd need to make a pretty, scrappy pillow in a day. Plus me to witter on at you, my 2 fat cats and my somewhat crazy puppy.

It's just a thought, but it might be fun?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

coming together (still)

My parents are coming up this weekend so that my dad can help me with some shelves and bits and then I can decide on what else I need to make my little space feel like home.

I'm getting there though. Some bunting above my desk...

(and Snoop in his bed underneath)

I sit here

My collection of hoops is going up, and being added to....

hoops wall in progress

And more comic book boards came in the mail this morning so I can finally get these shelves completely organised....

studio shelves

I spent 4 hours this morning sewing. It flew by and was pure bliss, with the little Snoop snoring by my feet.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

my thread of choice

Just recently I've felt like a secret of mine has become public knowledge. I rather like the feeling that for some time I've used Aurifil thread and all of a sudden the rest of the world has realised it's really something special. It makes me feel hip, like I'm an old school, original member of the club.

together forever


My love of Aurifil started when I bought my pfaff grand quilter and she acted up with loads of the threads I had previously used. I had snapping, or weird tension and I got annoyed. She liked polyester/cotton blended thread but not cotton, and poly cotton is fine but I like cotton for piecing especially, I don't want the poly cotton thread tearing into my seams over time and damaging them.
I bought some Aurifil on a cone from the incredibly smooth as butter talking Alex Veronelli (Mr Aurifil) at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham last year and I would have bought anything that man suggested because he has a beautiful accent. I'm easy, speak with an Italian accent to me and I'll buy whatever you have to offer. He said I wouldn't be disappointed with the 40 weight (I have never paid any attention to weights of thread before or since, I just did as I was told) and I didn't really care if it was going to snap all over the place when I got home and stuck it on my moody German Pfaff, because this handsome man with a beautiful voice sold it to me and that was enough. (I have to add here that at the Festival of Quilts in the UK there are not a whole lot of handsome men wearing well tailored clothes, so Alex Veronelli was like a shining beacon of beauty. He stayed etched in my brain, and has remained there ever since).

Sure enough, though, he was right. The moody Pfaff loved the 40 weight cotton, it didn't snap, it didn't give me weird tension issues and it quilted (and pieced) like a dream.
So I bought more, on smaller spools, for Nina Bernina, who is less moody than the Pfaff and really doesn't mind what you use and she loved it too.

Then I mentioned to Pat Sloan about how much I loved Aurifil (because she was doing something on twitter about it) and she offered to send me one of her designer kits, which is a really great mix of her choice of 12 favourite and most used colours in a little case.

my pretties


Now I have a dilemma, because I really want to use all of Pat's colours...but they look so lovely sat all sealed and new in their box. I have just run out of grey though, so I will have to crack that baby open pretty quick smart-ish.

my pretties

Ok, I've had a read up on the most common thread weights and stuff like that and here's the low down....

28 weight - heavier weight, perfect for decorative machine stitches and hand stitches
40 weight - regular weight, perfect for all machine quilting (domestic and long arm), piecing and a slightly heavier look for machine applique (I also love this weight for hand sewing bindings and stuff. That's my 2 cents - I don't know if that's right or not, but I do)
50 weight - lightweight, perfect for hand applique, machine applique and machine quilting. The thin thread helps stitches become almost invisible.

Aurifil is also well priced, it's not crazy expensive, and I don't like to spend money on things like thread because I would rather buy fabric, so for me to say it's well priced means it is. It's also easily found, especially online (just google it - loads of places come up in the search). And you can get thread cards (which I admit I do need, because I have messed up a couple of times and ordered thread that isn't a perfect match for what I wanted it for).

So, there you have it. It's what I use and have done for the past year, and will continue using.

Monday, 11 July 2011

hexy MF

hexy borders

The Hexy MF is a long term, as and when, no end in sight kind of project. Hence the wrinkles from where she lives scrumpled up (that's a cross between screwed up and crumpled) in my trunk. It would, however, be nice to actually see this quilt finished at some point this year so I'm spending the summer making more hexagons for the borders and I've just ordered some fusible bias tape (yes, lazy as hell) for the flower stems. I don't trust my needle turn applique abilities without Sarah holding my hand, and as she insists on living down under and won't just get on a plane and help me out (and she calls herself a friend, I don't know....) I think fusible tape is the way to go (although I'm totally open to suggestions here - so if you think of a better way, please let me know).

Sunday, 10 July 2011

wise words

wise words

I need to take heed of this subversive cross stitch. It'll hang on my wall in the (slowly coming together) studio with a little collection of embroidery hoops I'm filling with different bits and bobs and favourite fabrics. I'm not great at cross stitch. I think the problem is I am busy watching TV when I should be counting my stitches. Hence the birds on this little piece are kinda wonky. Still, I'll stop freaking out about it. See, it's working already.

modern log cabin apron sew-along

It's all go in Monkey Towers at the minute. But not a huge amount of sewing, just sorting and tidying and preparing. I've been pulling fabrics to join in with the modern log cabin apron sew along on Fat Quarterly. I was freaking out (oh, there's a surprise) about not having a pillowcase suitable for it, but then, when clearing out my (hideously packed) fabric closet I found this red and blue and white one from Ikea. A few co-ordinating scraps later and I'm all set. I don't have any extra wide pre-made binding tape, nor can I find any, but I'm thinking I'll use that big blue floral (a now discontinued Kaufman print by Piece O' Cake) and make my own waist ties. Because I'm handy like that.

I have a bit more yard sale action going on too....

bag o' scraps

A 1.5 lb bag of green scraps, all nice sizes, all designer fabrics. £15 posted within the UK (£18 to Europe)  GONE

bag o' strings

A bag of skinny strips, strings, small bits and selvedges. Perfect for crazy piecing, or string quilts. Lots of variety of designer prints.  I forgot to weigh it and obviously now I don't have it right next to me to do that (typically), but it's heavier than the green scraps, so I'm guessing it's 2 lbs or more. £15 posted within the UK or £18 to Europe. Email me if you're interested; katyejones at hotmail dot com  GONE

Next week I move my sewing machines and cutting mats over to the studio, so I can actually get some sewing action going on. It is looking really cute in there now, I'll get some photos when I head over next week. Even Snoop Dogg seems to feel chilled in there and sleeps in his bed by my desk for the whole time. I can't even begin to tell you how lovely it feels to have a space of my own.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

the yard sale continues....

clothkits and stuffs

First up - I'm sorry I'm doing this twice in one day but I've literally emptied my fabric closet into my kitchen and I have stacks of stuff I really don't need/have any space for.
So up there in the pic there's a clothkits doll kit (with stuffing and everything), plus 2 additional Jane Foster dresses (kits) and a third clothkits dress kit. Plus a doll kit (called Katy - I know, that's me, I always wanted to make her...but never got round to it) by my friend and published author and all round famous lady Amy Adams.  In the olden days, before she was famous, she worked for Coats Crafts designing kits and stuff.

If you're interested in the lot - I won't split it, so please don't ask - email me katyejones@hotmail.com

I'll ship anywhere, it'll all go in a box so pay me shipping and it's yours - that's it. I guess $30 international, £10 UK will cover it.
GONE!!! Thanks!!!

instant stash anyone? - GONE!

instant stash

I'm being pretty ruthless with my sorting of fabric now I've moved into the studio and I have a heap of stuff I'm unlikely to use.
This is a big bag - it's all in one of the bags you get when you buy from the moda table at quilt market and it's full. It weighs LOADS. I should try and weigh it...but anyways, it's heavy so there's no way I could ship to anywhere other than the UK

instant stash

Most of the pieces are FQ and up - there's a fair bit of yardage of some things too.
Examples are;
Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, Japanese double gauze, kona solids, Katie Jump Rope from Denyse Schmidt, some Far Far Away 2 by Heather Ross, Echino, Parisville, Wonderland by Momo, Sis Boom, Anne Kelle for Kaufman (urban zoology?), Michael Miller, Alexander Henry....and so on.
It's all good stuff, no crap. I promise.

instant stash

If you want it, it's yours - altogether I guess there's hundreds of £££ worth of fabric, but I'd like £150 and that includes postage within the UK. Like I said, it's just way way way too heavy to ship out of the UK. I guess it'll cost £20 to ship within the UK, in a big box.


Send me an email if you're interested - katyejones@hotmail.com


It's sold! Thank you so much. (There might be more coming though...watch this space as I venture into the cupboard that rarely gets opened and see what kinds of treasure...or not...I unearth)


Thanks! (and sorry about the pics - I took them with my phone so they're rubbish!)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

the day Katy gets all grown up and stuff

slow progress...

In an effort to;

  • become more organised
  • structure my day into 'work' and non-work sections
  • spend less time on twitter during office hours
  • focus on what I should be doing and not the bird/butterfly/fresh air outside
I have made a big girl decision and rented a (small) studio. The space is a slightly weird shape - it has alcoves at each end, and is kind of T shaped. I had the choice of this or a square (bigger) room (same price) and I liked this one. Less like a box. More opportunity to cosy it up. I even bought table lamps. Next I'll be buying fresh flowers (I got scented candles - they're already sat on the shelves waiting for me to buy matches to light them. Yep, that'd help).

panoramic views?

The basics are there now and I'm making a start on bringing all of my fabric (and CRAP) over. (you have to kind of imagine that it will look less stark and austere and more serene and inspiring once I actually get it all over there - ok?)

I haven't even scratched the surface. My space at home still looks like a bomb site, so I feel a major de-stash coming. A 'one big box because I can't be bothered to split all of it into small lots', kind of thing.