Thursday, 31 May 2012

almost set

I'm about to leave for the station and have my horrendously heavy suitcase, my sewing machine, a bag that is so full it's actually spilling out everywhere and completely impractical suede shoes on (it's raining)

I imagine I'll have laddered my tights by the time I reach London for the Fat Quarterly Retreat, but luckily I have until Friday evening (probably) before I see any retreat goers, so I can spruce myself up and make sure I look tidy again.

template 3

Just don't let me break a nail on the journey. (I am that much of a girl and my nails look ever so pretty).

Just in case any of my retreat friends are interested, I'll be bringing some template sets for both Spring Carnival and (NEW!!!) Hexy MF. They're £10 a set, and are limited in supply (because there's only so much I can carry), but they're there, so stop me and buy one if you like.

hexy MF template pic

I am so excited about seeing everyone, meeting new people, teaching, and everything else (including some late night drinking, I hope?)

Yesterday I got a really exciting email that I want to shout from the rooftops, but instead I'm going to keep as a secret until the retreat...but I think that's a good thing. It's always nice to have a surprise or 2 tucked up your sleeve.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

don't mess with my crew

I always thought it'd be cool to be a gang member, but without the whole violent shizzle and the street corner drug selling. I think I probably watched too many episodes of the wire. And fell a little too much in love with Stringer Bell. Hmm, from my nice, English, middle class neighbourhood where the worst thing that happens is my cat, Fatticus, doing his morning business on the neighbour's precious lawn (actually there was a really terrible and weird kinky murder in one of the houses on my street a few years ago - it was all kinds of exciting when that happened, ex-hooker kills boyfriend that was a heap of dodgy kinky stuff. Oh Em Gee - the TV and the papers were all over our neighbourhood, I used to pretend I was either the nanny or the cleaner - depending on what mood I was in at the time - to get rid of them. But that was only once, and nothing of that kind has happened since).

Fortunately the only street corner selling going on in the Art Gallery Fabrics Crew is phat quartas. Word.

Go check out the rest of my mareros* over on the Art Gallery blog. And make sure you follow us, because we have some sick* projects heading your way over the next 12 months (heck yes - I said 12 months!)

(*according to the urban dictionary means fellow gang members,
*according to the urban dictionary means really good)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Prepping for the Fat Quarterly retreat

Things are busy here in Monkey Towers. It's only a skip and a jump away until the Fat Quarterly retreat, 4 more sleeps in fact. Although I am heading down on Thursday for no real reason other than I like to be early.

Next stop London!

I'm busy with making sure we have all of the prizes, all of the goodie bag goodies and all of the stuff we need - like jelly rolls for the jelly roll race, and fabrics for the iron (wo)man challenge. And my own class prep too - do not forget that, Katy. Do not forget. I've also been sewing some little gifts for my roomies using some of Laurie's new mini line for Kaufman. Next stop London - pretty appropriate, right?
Brioni and me loaded up her car tonight with boxes and boxes (and more boxes) of stuff. I'm not quite sure how she'll fit in the rest of the stuff, and herself, for the drive to London. I'm also very glad I'm going by train - there's not a cat's chance in hell I'd have fitted as well.

Fat Quarterly

So I think we're all set - and as the weekend creeps (speeds?) closer I am getting more and more excited. And a little nervous things will go horribly wrong, but mostly excited. Not to mention overwhelmed that so many people are coming and from so far away. Spending the weekend hanging out and sewing and chatting and meeting everyone is going to be amazing, it's the perfect way to spend the weekend.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

quilt market re-cap {part 1}

I guess I started my Quilt Market recaps already, with my (somewhat excited) post on the new Liberty Lifestyle fabrics. Heck - am I glad you're as excited as me.

Rather than starting with booths I'm going to give you my predictions for the coming year and the things that grabbed me the most (other than the Liberty fabrics - they got their own blog post because they were truly the best thing to happen at Market).

1; Text Prints
It's not going to surprise anyone when I say that text prints are all over the place. We can't get enough of them.

mama said sew

Obvious ones are the Mama Said Sew fabrics from Sweetwater, which are even greater in the flesh than in pictures. I love the look of this line, and whilst I'm sure I won't use all the prints because there's not enough colour for me, the text prints will be bought in multiple yards, in multiple colourways.

madrona road

michael miller

There were more text prints at Michael Miller thanks to Violet Craft's new line, Madrona Road, and featured in cream puff, Bon Appetit and urban grit. as well as over at Blend in the Crabtastic collection.

My absolute favourite text prints from Market came from Kokka - sewing themed newsprints with metallic print text. Before you turn your nose up at that, think about how much everyone loves silver gel pen, now scribble some silver gel pen onto a bit of black fabric. And admit I'm right. Metallic prints might be sneaking into the must haves. Bet you never thought that would happen, right? Seriously though - start to imagine other fabrics with just a hint of sparkle. I did almost scream at Melody Miller that she must have glitter next time. She's looking into the possibility with the Kokka folks.


I also did the scratch test - no rub off, no glitter face, no worries. Kokka's metallic fabrics get a big thumbs up.

2; non-solid-solids
Whether it's with Kaufman's yarn dyed Essex linen, or a printed blender like Timeless Treasure's Sketch prints, there's going to be more and more of the non-solid-solid.
I'm a huge fan of them, they add depth and texture and make a quilt come alive.
Michael Miller had a similar cross hatch print to Sketch, called Pencil Check which had a really great range of colours, Haystack from Madrona Road was a big favourite of mine (I'll be stocking up on that one in multiple yards), and Painters Canvas (Michael Miller) is so good it makes me weep a little.

green bee patterns

You can see what I mean in this quilt from the Green Bee patterns booth. It's a gorgeous quilt and a wonderful pattern (it'll be available soon). It was my favourite quilt at market, but if that background had been something solid it wouldn't have had the same feel. It jumps at you, it has depth, movement and you just want to go right on up and touch it. I think people are more and more aware of the possibilities of alternative background fabrics, I'm not saying that solids are becoming redundant - that is never going to happen - but I think we are becoming more experimental in our choices. Choice is good. If you've never used a printed blender before, give it a try. I'm pretty positive you won't be disappointed.

3; crabs are the new fox
I'm not entirely sure what I think about that. Foxes get thumbs up from me, crabs make me curl my toes.
Still, it can't be denied - there were crabs all over the place. (Notice my lack of crabby photos though...that sums up my feelings on the matter, I guess). If you are a crabby fan, spot them in Crabtastic from Blend (below), Shore thing from Emily Herrick for Michael Miller, amongst others.


4; nautical is nice

This is another theme that doesn't grab me too much, probably because it's an extension of the crabby theme and I'm just not a huge fan of all that seasidey/beachy/coastal look - it's too refined for me, you've all seen me, I'm not refined, I like colour and a whole heap of it. But if you are a lover of nautical you are going to be really happy this year.  Seven Seas from Cloud 9 (actually, I really love this one - it has something that makes me smile), Sarah Jane for Michael Miller, Blend, Emily Herrick for Michael Miller - the seaside theme is all over the place.

sarah jane

5; the fox will never die
Thank the Lord. He's still about and still slinking his crafty little way through the fabric companies.
Monaluna has the most amazing alphabet animal print in her new collection, Fox Hollow, and Birch were previewing a great new line that's due out in August called Scamper (below)


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

be still my beating heart

Spring Market in Kansas City was fantastic, and as soon as I get my hundreds of photos sorted I'll start sharing with you the exciting things that are coming in the world of fabric.

The one thing I really cannot wait to tell you about are the new Liberty Lifestyle Fabrics. It honestly didn't matter what the heck else was in Kansas City, my favourite shop in all of the world that makes my favourite fabrics in all of the world has launched a range of quilting weight cottons that will be available in regular quilting stores everywhere and at a way more reasonable price than the Tana Lawns are.

liberty lifestyle booth

So what is the difference?

Tana Lawn is a high thread count, very lightweight, superior quality cotton fabric that has amazing drape and is primarily a dressmaking fabric (although it quilts beautifully, and is much more hard wearing than you may imagine from it's hand). It is as soft as silk, can be tricky to sew if you're not familiar with it and has a hefty price tag - especially if you're not UK based. $40+ a yard for US peeps. That makes for pricey dresses (but it is worth it, I swear).

liberty lifestyle fabrics

The new lifestyle cottons are a quilting weight, regular cotton. Just like the cottons we buy from our quilt stores and make into all kinds of things. These are going to be super versatile, super affordable (I'm going to estimate they'll be slightly more than regular cottons, but a bit less than Japanese - the wholesale plus freight cost is making me think they'll be around $15/yard, I thought they might be less at first, but that was before freight was factored in, which bumps the wholesale cost up a little bit, and then obviously the retail price. I'm still only guessing that price though, but it'll be around that kind of area).

The collection, called Bloomsbury Gardens was designed and curated by Sholto Drumlanrig, from the ridiculously expansive Liberty archives (let's face it - that is some kind of awesome job. I'm not even going to pretend to hide my envy. I would kill for that job, or even the job of tea girl to the people in the Liberty design studio. I can make a lovely cup of tea, and I'm cheap, in case there's an opening). Sholto was manning the booth at Quilt Market and looked ever so slightly afraid, a bit like a rabbit caught in headlights. Quilt Market can be quite a scary place for a softly spoken Brit. I probably should have rescued him. He might have enjoyed karaoke with Tula and me. Next time, I promise...

liberty lifestyle

They should be shipping around July for UK, and October for US/rest of world (for once we get them first! Yay!) Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics was the very first person to order them at Market, and as soon as they hit her store you know I'll be telling you (and you know I'll be having some kind of giveaway and fun shizzle planned when that happens as well). Annie from the Village Haberdashery has also ordered them, so for the UK peeps, sign up for her newsletter and get the latest news of when they're arriving. Annie is also giving away a swatch set on her blog (UK only), you should go and enter. I would share mine, but as you can see I've already cut it up (Sorry 'bout that. Actually I'm not sorry, I'm not sorry at all).

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

cutting corners

cutting corners

A (not so) little bit of a peek of the quilt I made for the retreat special of Fat Quarterly which is coming soon (although I should know this I am really not sure when it is - what with market and the retreat and a heap of other stuff going on over in Monkey Towers my brain has only got enough room for minimal information storage. I'm a bit like a very old computer and not very efficient. Someone needs to re-boot me and take some of the crap out of my hard drive, please).

Any hoo - this little quilty is only small at 37" square, but if you have a brain of a reasonable size you could make it as big as you like just by adding in extra fabric.

cutting corners

It's all made with moda fabrics - summersville by Lucie Summers, and Bella Solids and backed with a piece of the dotties extra wide quilt backing fabrics in scarlet. It's like a festival of Moda! Let me just tell you - the scarlet dottie is PERFECT for summersville. Apparently they're not re-printing it (I'm hopeful that's because they're bringing out more fun backings, keep your fingers crossed for me) so stock up now, especially if you plan on buying/or have bought Summersville already. Just remember to pre-wash it - it's red, it bleeds a little (only a little and shrinkage is minimal. I didn't pre-wash the summersville fabrics in this quilt and then when I did wash the finished quilt it stayed all lovely and flat, there wasn't any twisting as you might expect with a pre-washed backing and an unwashed front). It was pieced and quilted with trusty old Aurifil 50WT. You know the fact that this thread is thinner is really a great thing with bobbin re-fills. It lasts longer. So I'm going to add that to my ever growing list of why I only use Aurifil. I hate changing the bobbin mid quilting, and if I can do it less then I'm sure as heck going to try!

You can pick up Summersville from here and here. Hurry hurry - these are selling out FAST and once they're gone, that is pretty much it. You don't want to miss out on them, they're fab. And I'm not just saying that because I love Lucie.

Monday, 14 May 2012

everyone's a winner

Annie has decided that everyone should win something in the Flock for the next week (Until Monday May 21st) there is 10% off all flock in the Village Haberdashery store using the code FLOCK10. Thanks Annie!!!!

But who won the bundles?

Jenna won one...

And Clare won the other....

Congrats to the winners. All of you - now go shopping and buy some flock!!!

Friday, 11 May 2012

to the zoo with you

I am so excited to have this quilt finished. I'd planned on taking a little trip out to find some fun animals, we have highland cattle in the farm up the road from us and they have babies at the minute (too cute). But when it's not raining it's blowing a gale. So here you go - same old boring photos as always.

a trip to the zoo

I had so much fun with this quilt, planning it beforehand and plotting how I wanted it to look and then really just working it out as I went along, which isn't how I normally do things. I like traditional structure, improv and me never seem to work out ok. Except for this time.

a trip to the zoo

I quilted in a cross-hatch - without marking any lines, except for the first one, and then eye-balling it the rest of the time so it looks sketchy and fits with the hand drawn nature of the fabrics.

I mark one line so I know I have a rough starting point - and can then follow it without being too precise.


As always, I used Aurifil 50wt. I used that throughout, for piecing, quilting and sewing the binding on. I didn't think I'd ever say this, but since I've been quilting a little bit more recently and not sending everything out, I'm kinda enjoying it. I still don't enjoy free motion quilting, maybe I should set a target for myself to quilt a few things free motion and get some practise in. Maybe. I do like straight lines, these are spaced from about 1/2" apart. They're dull to do but the effect is lovely.

Oh - the back....

happy drawing

I used up the rest of the panel and some other prints to show off how the different scales work together. I love the back almost as much as the front.

Time to pack this little baby up and take him for his trip to the Cloud 9 Booth at Spring Market, if you're going too, won't you head over and say hi to him? It's a big adventure for a little quilt.

Quilt Deets;
Trip to the Zoo
finished size - 48"x52"
fabrics used - happy drawing by Ed Emberley for Cloud 9 fabrics and white klona cotton
(happy drawing is available from here, if you can find it anywhere else, snap it up super fast - it is selling out quickly)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Pink Castle Fabrics deals galore!

You already know how much I love Brenda over at Pink Castle fabrics, don't you? Well, this week was the grand opening of her dot com site and she's been having a different sale each day using a coupon code. You need to follow @justabitfrayed on twitter to get the heads up of each 24 hour only deal or check the blog daily, we are on the last couple of days now. Knowing Brenda they'll be good ones.

Summersville is in stock now - and selling out super fast, so if you want it, get it quickly.


Tula's new line, Nightshade, arrived yesterday too - that's going to be a quick sell out in my opinion. It's so perfect for teen girls.

Double, Double, Toil & Trouble: A quilt pattern for twins!
(photo & quilts by John/QuiltDad - quilt pattern in Issue 9 of Fat Quarterly)

And another thing - if you fill up your cart and go shopping, you can use KATY15 for 15% off all orders over $35. (At Pink Castle only)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

a couple of things...

The Fat Quarterly retreat countdown has begun....ticket sales will close in 12 days, so if you were thinking about it and haven't yet bought a ticket hurry hurry. We don't have many left either, so you might want to walk quickly and snap one up now (don't run, you could trip and hurt yourself)

Mr Random.Org has picked a winner for the Brrr giveaway - it's Alice. Well done Alice, your package will be on it's way shortly.
Don't forget we still have the Flock giveaway going on too, and so if you didn't win this time you might win one of the 2 bundles of Flock.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

flock on over for a giveaway!

I was telling you just the other day about Annie and her lovely shop, The Village Haberdashery, and as concrete proof of her generosity and loveliness Annie has asked if I'd like to host a giveaway of 2 FQ bundles of Thomas Knauer, Flock, and co-ordinating Kona solids. Each winner gets a lovely bundle of 12 FQs.

Of those of you who may not know Thomas (yet), Flock is his 2nd collection for Andover. He's a new designer with a background in Art Academia, and he's thoroughly engaging and passionate about what he does, if you haven't read his blog you really should give it a go. 

Thomas will be coming over to the UK this summer, and the London Modern Quilt Guild is hosting a talk at RayStitch in London on July 7th at 5.30pm. If you happen to be anywhere close to London on that day you wouldn't be disappointed listening to Thomas talk. He's a really engaging speaker, candid and honest about the fabric industry and how he got into designing.

The small print (please read!!!!!)....

The giveaway will run for just under a week, until Monday 15th May and both bundles will be sent to the winners direct from Annie, which means you get to see her lovely packaging too. 

Entries from readers in the UK or Europe only please

For a second chance to win, subscribe to the Village Haberdashery newsletter (click on over to the website, and in the bottom right hand corner of the page there's a box - enter your email in there and hit subscribe, then come back and leave a second entry telling me you've done so).


Monday, 7 May 2012

happy day teaching

I spent Saturday at Patch Fabrics in Lowestoft with 5 lovely ladies teaching Camille's Swoon quilt pattern.

Jenny's block was a lovely selection of Autumnal shades. She wasn't entirely happy with her points, but
I really don't think she should be so hard on herself (Jenny is a regular at my workshops and always finds fault in her work, when she shouldn't, plus she was relying on guessing her 1/4" seam - so I think she did much better than I could have - without my patchwork foot, I'm all over the place.)

Jenny's Block

It was a fantastic day - the class was nice and small, so everyone had plenty of room and I could concentrate on making sure each step was completely understood and help out when anyone had any problems (which, to be honest, were only a very few).

Leanne hiding
(Leanne is trying to hide in the picture. She doesn't like her photo taken)

Most of the ladies that come to the workshops are local, but one had travelled from further into the depths of Suffolk, about an hour away from Lowestoft. Amanda - if you're reading this, thank you for making that trek down the A12, it's not particularly fast getting anywhere in Suffolk, the roads are windy and tractors a plenty, so I feel especially honoured if someone is willing to make that special trip just for me (I'm not sure I would, I don't find myself very interesting at all).

This is Amanda's gorgeous block, she is intending on making some more to make a quilt. Love how the gingham matches up in some of her diamonds - that was a fluke, but it's a pretty spectacular one!

Amanda's Block

Swoon is not a particularly difficult quilt block, but it takes a lot of concentration and effort and a perfect 1/4" seam to be most effective. Everyone's blocks looked fantastic - all in completely different fabrics, all equally as stunning. I was proud as punch that they all turned out so well.

Here's Leanne's, Penny's and Claire's blocks - see how different they look, but equally gorgeous?

Leanne, Penny and Claire's blocks

I love teaching, it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside and I end up grinning all the way home. Which might look a bit weird to anyone driving past me.

Another pic of Leanne and Penny's blocks - without Claire's muscling in and trying to take over...

Leanne and Penny's blocks

I'll be back at Patch on June 16th, with a choice of 2 projects - either the jelly roll quilt I taught a little while ago;

beginner's quilt class

 or Fit For A Princess (this size uses 20 FQs). Both are lap sized and the top is achievable in the day.

Fit for a Princess Quilt

I will probably use this size (picture below) for Fit For A Princess, it's a little smaller, so easier to quilt on a domestic machine (you need 11 FQs)...(of course, there is no reason why you couldn't make the bigger version...or go even bigger should you want to - rule of thumb is one FQ makes one large block, with the diamond centre)

Little Monsterz

Contact Claire at Patch for more details.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

you should join in

Aylin made this pillow last week, for Tacha. To say I am jealous is an understatement, I am sick to my back teeth with envy. But it did make me think, I should make myself one like hers using texty prints for backgrounds.

PTS 7 - Angel Pillow 'Lyrics on Hexies'...

I'm currently on my third pillow using Silent Cinema in the same pattern but mixing up the backgrounds, so instead of wheels, you get flowers. I've shown you a gazillion times, but like this...

More spring carnival in progress

And this little quilty is at Long Armed Chris' being custom quilted all fancy dan ready for it's trip to Sewing Summit later this year (where I'll be teaching a class on - you guessed it - this pattern, amongst other stuff English Paper Piecy).

spring carnival

So Aylin thought a sew-along might be a fun idea, not a strict one where there would specific posts or anything but a group where you should share pictures of your ferris wheel blocks, or spring carnival or whatever you'd like to call it. Sometimes I like to call it the damn never ending pillow project. Because that's what it is. But then I forget it's never ending and I love it again.

You can join the flickr group here

...and there are downloadable templates/worksheets/etc etc in my tutorials section - click here, download those sheets and save them. Of course, you can still buy the acrylic templates from my etsy shop. If you are interested at all. You can find them right here.

I hope you'll come join us, Summer is on it's way, you need something to keep you occupied on those long light evenings or (if you're more lucky than us in the UK) sunny days. I know loads of you have bought my templates already, so there's no excuses. Get your asses over to the flickr group. RIGHT NOW.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

the ladies of the kitchen quilt guild

SV part trois

I have some friends (yes, don't look too surprised) and together we form a little collective known (to ourselves) as the kitchen quilt guild. We meet up once a month or so at Lynne's house, in her kitchen. Some of us have to go to work on weekdays, so don't have the pleasure of coming for every meeting, others of us have been pregnant for what seems like an eternity so missed out on a few meetings because of pregnancy poorliness.

At one of our meetings those present decided it might be nice to make the preggers one (from now on we'll call her Justine, because that's her actual name) a quilt. Lynne, Karen, Mandy, Laura and I made blocks (all of the 2.5" scrap squares I had cut already and stashed. I've still got enough for at least 3 more of these quilts). I assembled the quilt, long armed Chris quilted it, and today as you are reading this, we'll be handing it over to Justine. She has seen the quilt in progress but has no clue it's for her, and when I pile it into the car today I'll just pretend it's for show and tell. Sneaky, huh?

SV part trois

I am hoping the leftover from pregnancy hormones make her cry. Selfishly, I think it's better to have the recipient of a hand made gift cry with joy, it makes you feel quite smug and awesome. If she doesn't cry I'll let her off though, but I am not ashamed to admit I would be slightly disappointed.

The back of the quilt is like a jungle. This is an Alexander henry print that Lynne had (from Sew Fresh Fabrics). It's perfect for this quilt, all leafy and gorgeous and yummy.

Back of SV part trois

My embroidery skills are not too hot, by not too hot I mean shockingly terrible. Good job cosmo threads in variegated rainbow colours makes my somewhat slapdash words look pretty (I even marked with a pencil, and still it looks like a child wrote it). Yay for cosmo threads. (The date is Justine's birthday - serendipity that it falls so close to her baby boy being born and this quilt being finished).


Congratulations and huge huge love to Justine from us, her friends. Baby H was just over 11 lbs, Justine had only gas and air and not a single stitch. That lady deserves a quilt!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012



Things are crazy busy around here at the minute. It's less than 2 weeks until I fly to Spring market, and I have 2 quilts to finish.

If you follow me on twitter (I'm @ImAGingerMonkey) you will probably notice I'm quieter than usual. That's a good thing, because it means I'm sewing like a mad woman.

The quilt in the photo above is for the Cloud 9 booth, made from the insanely great Ed Emberley Happy Drawing collection (it's shipping now, so I expect it'll start popping up in shops really soon) . I knew what I wanted to make before I had the fabrics, I roughly sketched out an idea, which I then scrapped after it was agreed looked too much like animals in prison but followed the same kind of theme, of a zoo (yes, it's abstract - I'm going modern for this, work with me, ok?)

I started off by making a pile of framed square and rectangle blocks of different sizes, then pinned it all to a piece of fabric roughly the size of the quilt I wanted to end up with and went from there, adding in sashing and little accents of the scribbles to make it feel less overly white. I've never really ventured into that improv way of doing things, I don't really see myself as a modern quilter as such - I like modern fabrics, I like modern quilts, but I tend to prefer traditional blocks.
This has been really fun, though, I've enjoyed making it up as I go along, and now I'm almost at the finish line where the quilt top is concerned I'm pretty impressed that the quilt is going to end up being exactly how I envisioned it. I just really hope Michelle and Gina like it too and it looks good in the booth, Michelle has been showing some sneaky peeks of what's going to be in the booth on her flickr stream . There's a giveaway of Happy Drawing on the Cloud 9 blog right now - head over to win a bundle of 12 FQs (ends 4th May), Michelle also casually drops into the blog post that Happy Drawing, too will be going ahead - a second Happy Drawing range, which means I'm going to have to hoard away some of this first collection for a bigger zoo when that comes out. Squee!!!

Non work related stuff.....

A little while ago I bought a giant safety pin to hang above my desk (by giant - it's 21" in length, so that's BIG!) and hadn't gotten around to putting 2 nails in the wall to hang it. So I did that this week. It is making me ridiculously happy - small things and all that....

giant safety pin

And because I was close to having a melt down earlier at the start of the week and needed to do something, anything, that was mindless and easy and completely pointless, I strip pieced a giant granny square block. I used the same basic tutorial as before, but cut 5" strips. It's huge, approx 20" square, but making it meant I didn't scream at the kids or husbeast, like I was about to, and saved me from a complete case of hissy fits. I intend on making more of these and having a big quilt with big blocks. And probably a couple of pillows too, because at 20" it's a pretty great pillow sized block.

giant granny block

This week has been pretty constructive, funny how avoiding twitter does that, isn't it?

Quick heads up for you. One of my absolute favourite collections from Fall market, Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker is in stock at Fat Quarter Shop now. I made this pillow and this quilt from quilt blocks, but I need to buy a stack of it. It's a collection that I think might pass you by if you don't get told about it, and it's really awesome. The thumbnails don't do it justice, seriously, believe me - don't miss out on it. It works reallywell with heaps of solids, as well as the timeless treasures sketch fabricsI am obsessed with - and the colours are a great mix with Washi. That's what I want it for, a big quilt blocks x washi quilt. Yum.

The Village Haberdashery

I met Annie last year at Fall Quilt Market. I'd 'known' her for a little while before from blogland and she always seemed such a lovely person. When she said she was starting her own UK based online store I had a feeling it would be a good one, whenever we spoke via email her taste in fabrics seemed to be spot on, and she was very focused on what she wanted to achieve with her shop.

It's been open for a little while, and Annie says it's doing well, which is always reassuring in tough financial times like this.
You may already know about Annie's shop, but in case you don't, I want you to go and visit and have a look around. She has done a fantastic job with the website, it looks wonderful but it's also easy to navigate and has a great selection of different fabrics, essential and haberdashery items as well as yarn, needles and notions for knitters and crocheters.

Let me introduce you to The Village Haberdashery. You can find all kinds of floss and embroidery supplies (including Anna Maria Horner needlepoint kits - which are beautiful, I saw them at market last year and wanted them all)

Gorgeous bundles of fabrics, and a great selection of fabrics to buy off the bolt including velveteen, voile, organic and regular cotton in both prints and solids.

Plus there are fun little extras that you might not need but should treat yourself (or a friend) to every once in a while, and are also perfect for pointing husbands in the direction of when it's Christmas or Birthday time.

What I especially love about Annie's shop is she has it all incredibly well thought out. It's a one stop shop, there really is everything you need for a project here.
Most of us are multiple layered crafters - we might quilt but also knit, embroider, sew garments, crochet...all of the areas are covered in The Village Haberdashery. It reminds me of a British Purl SoHo, beautifully laid out, great quality items, there's no hint of cheap or nasty or shop fillers. Annie took a long time putting her stock together, choosing just the right items to create a shop that screams quality and class.

I think there is sometimes a tendency for people to think opening a shop is simple enough, you buy a ton of stock, you whack it all on a basic website template and off you go. The Village Haberdashery is different. There aren't stacks upon stacks of different types of fabrics, the collections are focused and hand picked. I really like that in a shop. There are so many different fabrics that come out at any one time, how do you narrow it down to a capsule collection? If I had a shop I think it'd be a complete mess - too much from too many collections and all over the place. Annie appears to be incredibly disciplined in her approach, which means she has a gorgeous looking store, with a fantastic selection of items.

You really should head over and check it out. And add The Daily Stitch, the shop blog, to your reader.

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