Thursday, 27 October 2011

the mile high craft club

Founding members - Aneela, Lucie and me

This year's inaugural session will involve some English paper piecing

the mile high craft club

cross stitchery Anna Maria Horner style

the mile high craft club

and a lesson in crochet from Miss Aneela (once she refreshes herself with the hook)

If only we could do this on a more regular basis. It'd be the best. Ever.

I shall try my hardest to blog from market (I had a bit of a nightmare with it last time). I shall most definitely be tweeting. And I promise a stack of goodies for a giveaway or 3 when I get home. I've also printed out the list of things you want me to look out for whilst I'm there, so I'm all set.

If you're going to be there, and you spot me (you'll know it's me - I wear glasses that look like the 3D ones from the movie theatre and I have arms that look like I've been doodling with some sharpies) please say hello. Just grab me. Grab me and say hi. Promise?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

a place for everything....

...and everything in it's place.

Who said that? (answer at the bottom of the post)

Well, my friend Pat Sloan is one of those people. She has so much going on in her life that she has to be super organised or she'd quite simply forget what the heck she was supposed to be doing next. We were chatting via email and she mentioned quilt album to me as a way for her to keep tabs on each and every project she makes (believe me she makes A LOT). Like most bloggers I rely on Flickr to be my online quilt journal as such. I have sets in Flickr and I record progress and dates of starting and finishing quilts. It's worked ok for me, but it's not the most organised way to work and what would happen if one day my flickr account was just closed, and deleted (it's happened to people, after getting reported for having links to shops etc in their Flickr stream). That kind of scare mongering is enough to make me have palpitations.

Quilt album is the answer. Or at least it's an answer and a pretty good one too.

It's really easy to use (believe me) and everything is stored in it's own little file within the album. And therefore it's safely kept in one place on your computer (obviously with all things on computers you should back up to an external hard-drive every now and then...that's just common sense, ok?)
This is a screenshot of one of my projects (click on the pic and it'll go large).

Just pop over here and take a little video tour. Like what you see? Here's a $5 off coupon that Pat hooked me up with. Just enter the code AEH-UW when you check out. Simples. I know the website is kinda clunky looking, and not really as modern as you might like...but ignore that (I checked it out first off and thought, 'like heck I'd use that, Pat, there's all sorts of bad graphics going on') but you know what? It's really cool and really useful and I am hooked on it! And it's only $25 with the coupon code. 

and the answer to who said the quote at the top? It was Mrs Beeton. Did you know that already? Well, you do now.

Monday, 24 October 2011

on a purse tip...

...not a ragga tip

6 easy peasy purses down. I have a couple more to make but I've got no more purse frames (more on the way).

on a purse tip

I love this pattern, it's fast, it's easy and it's fun. All round win. (you can buy a copy from here)

on a purse tip

Go, make some yourself. Stuff them with treats and that's a go-to gift sorted. No need to thank me, I'm just nice like that.

purse collage

Thursday, 20 October 2011

a postcard from Houston...

So, one week today I fly out to Houston for quilt market. I'm thinking it might be nice to hand the reins over to you guys and be an intrepid reporter for you. What would you like to find out about? What do you want to see? Any new lines you're crazy about finding info on? Any designers you want me to ask a specific question to?

Comment away and I'll make a list.

Oh, and before Lynne tells me to do something really stupid like streak through the convention centre. No. I shan't. I draw the line at that. Well...probably.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

the fabric closet swells

peacock lane and just dandy

The most recent addition to my stash is the Cherry Chip colourway of Violet Craft's Peacock Lane for Michael Miller fabrics. I fell a bit lot in love with Peacock Lane the moment I saw it at Spring Market this year. It is cute enough to please girly girls, but not so cute that it makes your teeth ache. It's definitely one of my top 3 favourite collections of the year. Great mix of prints from very small to large focal prints,  the colours are crisp and bright without being over-bright. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes fabrics can be a bit too digitally printed looking and the colours are slightly off. Not these. Just look at how happy that display is......

Violet Craft for Michael Miller

I'd already used the Rainbow Sorbet colourway in a quilt top that's currently at the quilter's so when I spotted Fat Quarter shop offering one of their 50% off deals on twitter last week I couldn't ignore those reds and pinks and browns any longer. It is actually worth joining twitter just to get news of offers from Fat Quarter shop.

peacock lane

I think I know what I want to use this stack for - teaming it with some of the pinks from Just Dandy (like in the top pic). The 2 collections are perfect for each other. It'll have to wait a while though, I've got a heap of other stuff to get finished and Christmas to worry about before I make a start on anything new (she says, quite unconvincingly).

Thursday, 13 October 2011

some hand holding required


(please ignore the coffee stain on the quilt there. I am a terrible housewife, it would appear)

I am really not sure if this is pure madness and doomed for failure but after some pushing and cajoling from Dan (basically all he has to do is say jump and I say how high. My crush on him is somewhat epic) I have decided to embark on a new adventure. That adventure is a dress made by me using Liberty print tana lawn.

I was wondering if anyone would like to join me on the adventure? You don't need to make a dress, you don't need to be a beginner (in fact the more experience that comes along for the ride the better, I could use some help here).

Apparently the dress pattern I have picked is actually very beginner friendly. I'd like to say simple, but as this is my first 'real' dressmaking journey, I don't think it's likely to be simple...but I'm hoping for as few headaches along the way as possible.

Alice has the Miz Mozelle dress pattern in stock now. You will also need around 3 metres/yards of a lightweight fabric or a cotton knit/jersey (depending on your size) plus some other bits and bobs (interfacing and stuff). I've chosen a liberty print tana lawn that I got from Sew Box (they sell Liberty jersey/knit fabric too - and it's not crazy money either).

Florence has made both a toile and real dress using this pattern. Both versions make my heart skip a beat a little. As she is well practised in the art of Miz Mozelle (and dress making in general) I am hoping for some help along the way. Sneakily I've sent her a parcel today that she thinks is just a gift and my honest generous is, in actual fact, a thinly veiled bribe that I will remind her of when I am pestering her later on.

So, who is in? You could make something really nice and simple like the bee skirt I made a little while ago. Or push yourself way out of the comfort zone and make something like a dress. Let's not set a firm time frame, just work through a pattern and have a little virtual sewing retreat together.

I'll give you a couple of weeks to think about it. I'm not planning on starting until I get back from Houston.

(Also - if you are already super clever, know the basics of dressmaking, live relatively near to me and wouldn't mind me coming and visiting for the day and helping me understand what this whole pattern lark is....shoot me an email katyejones at hotmail dot com)

EDITED TO ADD - US peeps, you can get the Miz Mozelle dress pattern from here. UK/Europe from here.
I don't have a serger, so any serging bits I'll use my zigzag stitch or buttonhole, which I am pretty sure will do the job just fine. Of course, if you use a knit then there's no real need to serge anyway because it doesn't fray like cotton...I'm just a bit scared of sewing knits because of the stretchiness.
I plan to make a start when I get home from Houston in the beginning of November.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

smiling face

be still my beating heart

I got so crazy excited about these when I went to Spring Market. I totally wanted to eat Anna Maria up for thinking of them. Truth be told, I want to eat her up most days of the week. Pre-printed cross stitch fabric that is pretty enough to use without any additional stitchery, but simple enough for an idiot stitcher (that'd be me) to make it look awesomely pretty. The pom pom trim was lurking on my table when this package arrived. It was clearly fate because now I need pom pom trimmed stitchery pillows for my bed.
Mine came from sew mama sew. It took me a while to realise that Kristen had slipped a couple of extra bits in with my package that I hadn't ordered. I was looking at my receipt, looking at the stack, looking back at the receipt and looking back at the stack before I figured it out. See - I told you I was an idiot. (Thank you Kristen - you're a superstar).


On rare occasions I have a clever idea. Such as these Moo cards, with instructions on how to care for a quilty gift. Punch a hole in one corner, slip a little strip of waste fabric trimming through the hole, pin onto a quilt. Et voila - no phone calls from confused mother in law's on how to wash that quilt you gave her (or whoever else you've made a quilty gift for).
I'd like to think one day I'll be organised to actually have quilt labels printed onto fabric and stitch care instructions onto the quilts themselves. That involves me being computer savvy. Which I am not. Julie has a great tutorial here for spoonflower ready fabric labels (and if anyone wants to use that tutorial and make me some labels you know I'd love you forever, right?) So for now, the Moo cards will do me just fine. You can get some too - go here.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

charity stocking drive

Have you seen this?

Lyanna works with foster kids which has to be one of the world's most rewarding jobs. The agency she works for is organising a drive to get at least 50 handmade Christmas stockings this year, one for each of the kids they represent.
50. That's totally do-able, right?
It is with your help.
Each Tuesday until the end of November she'll be linking to a free stocking tutorial and to give you the a further nudge towards helping out there are heaps of prizes to be won along the way.

All she asks is that the stockings reach her before December 1st.

Go sign up, join the flickr group here and find out all about the drive by visiting either the jolly jabber or Lyanna's blog.

I'm in - are you?

christmas stocking

Friday, 7 October 2011

out now...

Fall Inspired Special

The Fall inspired special issue of Fat Quarterly is out now. Check out the projects and have a flick through some sample pages here. Included in this issue is the cutest Halloween cross stitch pattern by Amanda and Ashleigh of the frosted pumpkin stitchery, and this awesome quilt from Heather of Olive and Ollie. It's well worth the $5, even if I do say so myself. (If you're a subscriber already you can just log-in to the site as normal and download your copy there).

Thursday, 6 October 2011

shameful behaviour

I've been too embarrassed to write this post.

I first mentioned this quilt back in March 2010. Some blocks were made by May 2010. I last mentioned progress in December 2010.
Since I promised to make a quilt for my friend Trash for her big birthday a lot has happened (I started Fat Quarterly, I wrote a book, I had a baby got a puppy...those kinds of things). The poor quilt got pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. It was ignored. I used excuse after excuse to avoid finishing it off. I'm not entirely sure why, because it was so simple and so fast to come together and now it's all finished I really like how it turned out.
The 'eclectic' mix of fabrics (Trash had asked friends and family to send her fabrics for her birthday to be turned into this quilt) certainly had something to do with it. I fussy cut a few photo-real dog faces out especially. I wanted Trash to be spooked by the slightly demonic looking German Shepherd or pug. It was the least I could do, she has waited over a year and a half.


Last week I finally finished it up and mailed it off to her. It feels good to have come good on a promise.

Even if it was a long time coming. (sorry Trash xxx)

trash's quilt

Quilt deets - Finished size (twin) - 67"X85"
fabrics are a mix. Including a LOT of novelties and Kaffe Fasset.
Solid is kona coal.
Backed with Anne Kelle's urban zoologie monkeys (ginger monkeys!!!)
Bound with smirk dot

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

a spruce up

So I had a little spruce up and jigged up the blog. I say 'I' but I didn't at all. It was this lady. She's super nice. Super helpful and super fast. And although it's vulgar to talk about the dollar dollar bill, y'all, she's really reasonably priced (I'm not going to say cheap - because to me that gives you the impression of polyester lace and thigh high boots and I'm really sure she doesn't have that look going on).

I need to get my 'about me' page sorted, but I'm not too good at the whole 'this is me' thing. I usually rely on John to do it for me. Don't you think it's hard to write a bio without sounding like a complete P.I.T.A? I'll work on it. Give me some time....

And because no post is much to look at without a's a sneak at what I'm working on. Blade after blade after blade. A girl can get sick of sewing these things (I'm kidding, I could sew dresden plates all day every day. Which is good, because that's all I'm doing right now).


Monday, 3 October 2011

the year of the pillow


I've been busy with pillows lately. Which is good, because I've got a whole stack of pillow forms crammed in my closet to turn into gifts for this Christmas. I bought 8 just last week. Two of which are huge.

I've been using up heaps of scraps for dresden plates. This one has a border using the zig zag print from Betz White's new fabric line, Stitch, with Robert Kaufman (which is out soon). I blame Chawne for making me think of Cosby sweaters. I can't knit, so a knitted look border will have to do.

pillow collage

Expect to see a lot of pillows over the next couple of months. I apologise in advance.

A little heads up - I'm having some tech shizzle done on my blog this evening EST, so the site will be down for a few hours. Hopefully only a couple though. And then I'll be back and running. 
Tech shizzle all done. What do you think? Tara did it. She's great, I totally recommend her for pain free blog makeovers.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Fall inspired

miscellany pouch

Last year Fat Quarterly did a special issue that was Holiday themed (think Christmas, mainly). It was without a shadow of a doubt the most popular issue we've made so far. (If you don't have one, you can still get it - just click here for details). This year we decided on a different theme, the theme of Fall.
My project is a simple clutch pouch made from scraps of fabric (Miscellany by Cloud 9). It's big enough to use as a pencil case, make up bag for in your handbag, or on the go sewing supplies (guess what I use mine for?)
I plan on making a heap of them to fill with little gifts this Christmas. I think the kids' teachers would love getting them filled with fun stuff the children have chosen themselves (maybe not Miss G's male teacher).

Fat Quarterly Fall Inspired special issue is out October 7th. From the Fat Quarterly website.

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