Pins & Needles!

As part of the London Modern Quilt Guild we occasionally do swaps within the group.  This time was different.  We have organized a swap with the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild in Canada.

I have never been much for making little things but I thought I would be a team player and make a little needle case for the swap.  After a few minutes of searching on Pinterest, my new favorite place, I found a great little tutorial from Jamie at Sew She Sews.

I love Skulls! and for me to be me I needed to make something to give away that had Skulls on it. Nothing like scaring a Canadian with a quilted Skull Needle Case. Following along with the tutorial I made this.

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and even added P&P stitched onto the aida.

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I liked the idea of keeping all my bits in one place (Victoria might have a heart attack if there wasn’t a mess on the table) so while we were wandering the Stitching Show a few weeks back I found this fun print and yes it has Skulls on it.

Fun Skull fabric found at the Knitting and Stitching show.

Fun Skull fabric found at the Knitting and Stitching show.

So I made myself a needle case because I was seriously considering not giving the other one away. Stitched in a cool Diamond pattern and some Orange and Blue pockets.  I also made it a touch bigger so I can get my scissors in easy.

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diamond stitching!

diamond stitching!

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Now to find all my little zip lock bags with pins and needles in them and give them all a new home.

\m/

Zombie’d

A while back I became twitter buddies with Monica from Happy Zombie.  I was admiring her new fabric line, Winterkist, which is  put out by Lecien. Sadly, Lecien doesn’t supply many places here in London.  So Monica and I came up with a little swap of our own. She would send me some of her new fabric and I would in return make her a mini quilt/ mug rug.

Not too long after our arrangement this lovely little package arrived in the mail at my Mom’s.

Happy Zombie's Winterkist

Happy Zombie’s Winterkist

I quickly started on my half of the deal.  What to make? Why not stick the logo (a very cool logo I might add) inside of a Porthole?..

After some plotting and digital file making I had the makings of a “Zombie” mug rug.

Whatcha looking at!!

Whatcha looking at!!

Monica has been super patient with me.  So I just sat down the other day and finished it off.  I think it turned out really cool and wouldn’t mind doing something like that again.

Portholed and stitched up.

Portholed and stitched up.

hand stitched binding,

hand stitched binding.

A little men's suiting for the backing never hurt anyone.

A little men’s suiting for the backing never hurt anyone.

Off to Oregon it goes.  I hope Monica likes it as much as I do.

\m/

MC off to CT to see DS

Victoria and I were back home in NYC for a few weeks and while we were there I had the opportunity to go to CT and meet Denyse Schmidt.  When I was learning how to quilt about 8 years ago I bought Denyse’s book, Denyse Schmidt Quilts and used it as my how to guide book. This book started my quilting love and helped shape what I do.

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For my first ever project I decided to make my very own bed quilt.  Actually I made two different quilts and modified a pattern from the heating pad into a third quilt from this book.  Pretty industrious for a level 1 beginner.  I made my way to the City Quilter in NYC and was overwhelmed by the choices. Feeling like hours had passed in the shop (and it might actually have been hours) I made my decision on fabric. 

Armed with my red, blue and yellow prints and cream solid I headed home and made myself some paper templates for “Hop, Skip & a Jump” and was on my way to creating my first quilt.  Now for the ambitious part. I knew I wanted the quilt to hang on my bed nearly to the floor and the sides and the bottom which would make the finished quilt close to a US King size.  So for my first ever quilt I made a massive 102″ x 102″ quilted monster. Well not quilted but pieced.  For years I was afraid of quilting it so my first project remained folded in a plastic storage container mocking me every time I would see it.

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With the first one partially done I decided to make something a bit more manageable and once again I head to Denyse and found her “Flock of Triangles”.

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Not one to make my life simple I took the basic pattern and made it my own. Using a collection of brown, blue, green and orange I pieced what would be my sofa throw. Since this was my first attempt with triangles I didn’t know the correct positioning of the pieces and soon found out that my points are not really points. To be honest, I didn’t really care as I liked the final outcome. It has seen better days and is started to wear in spots but it is soft and I love sitting with it.

Don't look too close!

Don’t look too close!

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Back to our trip to Bridgeport.  Before I left London I sent an email to the Studio checking to see if it would be ok for me to make a visit.  Julie, Denyse’s assistant emailed me back and we set up a day for a short meet and chat.  Wednesday morning, Victoria, Mom and I drove out meet the legend. We arrived in Bridgeport to this amazing old Factory building from the early 1900’s.

Denyse's Studio is on the top floor of what was the home to the American Fabrics Company, which manufactured lace fabric, trim, and embroideries from 1908 to 1990.

Denyse’s Studio is on the top floor of what was the home to the American Fabrics Company, which manufactured lace fabric, trim, and embroideries from 1908 to 1990.

Once we made it to the top floor I felt the butterflies coming over me.  We knocked and went it. The space is truly amazing.  With double height ceilings and lots of light, it is the ideal space to create it.

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Out from behind the bookcase comes Denyse. She was getting a number of her quilts ready for an exhibition at the National Quilt Museum in Kentucky running from October 11, 2013 through January 14, 2014. It was such an honor to met her.  She walked us through to the “work” side of the Studio and showed us what she has been busy with. On her wall were images of quilts going to the show, samples of her new fabric which would be found in one of the eight lines she will be releasing in the near future and tons of inspiration.

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The new Solid Bundle being released by FreeSpirit. It's massive!

The new Solid Bundle being released by FreeSpirit. It’s massive!

Denyse also showed us a few of her quilts that were not sent out yet.  The green one was all done by hand and is beautiful to see in person.

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It was a great experience to meet Denyse and get to see where she creates her amazing works of art. As we were heading out Denyse went into a draw and pulled out a few bits to take back with us. I can’t wait to start something amazing with her new “Florence” range.

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Seeing that was all I need to finish up my first project, some 8 years later. On our way home we stopped and grabbed just a bit of backing, 8+ yards and few extra yards for some cushion covers which will be added to the to do list along with batting. Down to the basement I went and pinned it all up to the HQ and over the next few days I finally quilted my “Hop, Skip & a Jump”.

This quilt was soooo big we had to add the extensions to the machine.  Can you say 12'!

This quilt was soooo big we had to add the extensions to the machine. Can you say 12′!

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I managed to quilt the entire thing before we headed back to London and now all I need to do is square it up and bind it.  Looking forward to sitting on the couch with some Law and Order reruns and binding away.  I have a feeling this might take a while.

[ Will add more the post when it is all finished]

Thank you Denyse for your generous gifts and for taking the time to show us around.  It was a really pleasure to meet you.

\m/

FoQ You!

Last weekend Victoria and I made the trip up to Birmingham from London to spend some time admiring my brilliance,

Excuse me!  I can't see!

Excuse me! I can’t see!

I mean seeing the amazing quilts that were entered into this years Festival of Quilts show. We had made plans to meet up with our friends Emily and Michelle on Friday night for some dinner.  Emily had a booth selling her wonderful tapestry kits.  We love them so much we got another one to work on.

On Saturday morning we were up bright and early to head over to the NEC.  I was trying to avoid the massive line like last year.  With our Starbucks in hand we made our way through the show and saw some amazing quilts.

Me & JD

Me & JD

My cross stitch Bar Code which will take you to the blog post of how it was made.

My cross stitch Bar Code which will take you to the blog post of how it was made.

There was a nice section of all London Tube and Transport Quilts.  I found this one and was in awe of the quilting on it.  Each Tube line was done in a different color and design.

The Tube map stitched out in great detail.

The Tube map stitched out in great detail.

Micro Stitching at it's best.

Micro Stitching at it’s best.

I have see a few of these before but I really enjoyed seeing them again. Well done Alicia Merrett!

One of my favorite Quilts of the show.

One of my favorite Quilts of the show.

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How could you miss the GIANT Self Portrait of Luke Haynes.

Was great to see Luke's work up close.  A masterpiece.

Was great to see Luke’s work up close. A masterpiece.

There was also a great section of Kaffe and Brandon’s work with Solids on display.

The one and only, Kaffe.

The one and only, Kaffe.

All in all we had a great few days up in Birmingham.  Now what to make for next years show?

with Liberty and justice for me.

I forgot to post this a few weeks back.  Have a look at my feature on the Liberty Craft Blog.  I was contacted by my friend Michelle about maybe creating a little pop for them to use.  We chatted and a bit of the new fabric changed hand.

This is what I came up with.  See more on the Liberty Blog.

My final version of the World Famous Liberty of London building.

My final version of the World Famous Liberty of London building.

Also a few pics of the first go round.  Focusing more on one building.

The Liberty logo hanging off the main Building.

The Liberty logo hanging off the main Building.

One main Building

One main Building

getting bagged!

A few weeks back some of us from the LMQG made a trip down to Brighton to do some bag making with Lisa Lam from U-Handbags.  Lisa lives and works down on the south coast and on a beautiful sunny Wednesday we made some bags and had some ice cream!

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My after lunch snack!

My after lunch snack!

Lisa was great.  She sent us our pattern in advance so we had a chance to review but once we got to class we were all business.

We started out by trimming the paper pattern and choosing our interior and exterior fabrics.  Victoria picked out the Liberty Fabric she wanted the night before so I was all set.  After trimming the pattern we needed to transfer it to both the interior and exterior along with the batting and interfacing.

paper pattern trimmed out and ready for the pinning.

paper pattern trimmed out and ready for the pinning.

After all of our pieces were trimmed and sorted we added a few interior pockets.

my slightly askew pockets.

my slightly askew pockets.

Lisa monitoring our every move with her iced coffee in hand.

Lisa monitoring our every move with her iced coffee in hand.

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On to the bag making we went.

the exterior and interfacing ready and squared off at the bottom.

the exterior and interfacing ready and squared off at the bottom.

the interior with pockets sewn with the batting.

the interior with pockets sewn with the batting.

inside and out edge sewn where the frame won't cover.

inside and out edge sewn where the frame won’t cover.

Now we are ready for the frame to be added.  I was a bit nervous at this point.  While I use glue all the time, I don’t usually have to worry about it staining or sticking to other things it is not supposed to. Lisa gave us a spot on demo and we were all ready to try it ourself.

the special fabric glue ready for the frame.

the special fabric glue ready for the frame.

side one glued and inserted. just need to let it set for a few minutes before we get to the other side.

side one glued and inserted. just need to let it set for a few minutes before we get to the other side.

Side two done!

Side two done!

I know I had a great time learning how to make these bags.  Lisa makes them look simple and now I know they are.

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Simply Retro!

The concept of “retro” is pretty wonderful;

it means “reminiscent of things past.” Isn’t that appropriate. CR

Simply Retro with Camille Roskelley[6]

In Camille Roskelley’s “Simply Retro” you are treated to 11 traditional blocks done with a modern twist. Using Fat Quarters, Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs and Layer Cakes or simply using your own stash, you can create amazing, fairly simple quilts.
"Adorn"

“Adorn”

Instead of the difficult Y-seams and sometimes frustrating foundation piecing, Camille shows you how to use simple half-square triangles (HST’s as she refers to them), And a few other simple tricks to make blocks that only look complicated.
Bundles Galore!!!

Bundles Galore!!!

The book starts off with a basic run through of different types of bundles so even the beginners in the group will be on the same page. Then it’s off to the projects. Each starting with a small bit of her inspiration on top ofa close up of the finished quilt.  I especially like the one about her great grandmother Ruby and her bright red hair which works perfectly in the “Retro” quilt. You will get the fabric breakdown along with the cutting list followed by little hints to speed things along. An illustrated piecing chart helps guide you in the right order making each block a breeze.
My favorites are”Framed” and “Fresh” and I can’t wait to get started.
"Fresh"

“Fresh”

Fresh

The book wraps up with a refresher on quilting basics such as setting up your machine for the perfect 1/4″ seam and different types of quilt techniques. All in all a really nice book for advanced quilters looking to use up some of their stash or the novice learning the basics.

A Walk in the Woods.

I was asked a while back to make a quilt as a gift for a new born.  Rummaging through my stash I found an unused Jelly roll of “A Walk in the Woods” by fellow London Modern Quilter, Aneela Hoey. Thought this would be the perfect starting point for the baby’s quilt.

Laid out on the floor deciding on the spacing.

Laid out on the floor deciding on the spacing.

This was a fun little project. I added a bit of dark grey with pink flowers to complete the layout along with a light grey and white solid panel which I would try something different in.

The baby's name stitched in by machine.

The baby’s name stitched in by machine.

Here is the finished quilt all ready to be delivered.

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had a few bits left over so I added them to the back.

had a few bits left over so I added them to the back.

It All Started with a Big Bang!

The other day I was flipping through Pinterest.  Now I do have my own account but Victoria always has a monopoly  on the Ipad and I am just too lazy to sign her out and sign myself in so I tend to pin things to a folder called “Stuff for Michael” on her boards. I should also preface this by saying I was looking for Paper Piecing patterns online for a Video Demo I have been asked to do for Coats.  Anyway, one link from google was on Pinterest.  I have never thought about looking on Pinterest for patterns.  I did some browsing through 100’s of patterns.  Most of which were not my taste and then I saw it. I have been addicted to “The Big Bang Theory” since it first aired.  Up until our move to London a few years ago Victoria hated anything I watched and I mean HATED. I convinced her to give it a try and now we both sit with the TV on at 6:30, eating dinner with “The Big Bang Theory” playing on E4.  It is our daily ritual.

So there it was.  Elizabeth Mosher created the opening symbol as a paper pieced pattern. I don’t know you Elizabeth Mosher, but I like you. “Atom” is a pretty elaborate paper pieced pattern. At first I thought about making it as a gift for a friend who via Facebook send random quotes from new episodes back and forth to.  So out from the printer came 16 different templates to stitch through.

The fairy complex pattern for "Atom"

The fairly complex pattern for “Atom”

I had a bit of this White on White print with numbers and thought this would be the perfect backdrop for the pattern. First was piece “A”.  Red hex center.  Then some whites followed by 1/8″ blacks then some more white. Around and around you go until you have piece “A” finished.

Just like color by numbers.  Only you are using fabric to fill in the spaces.

Just like color by numbers. Only you are using fabric to fill in the spaces.

There is a bit of trial and error but this was not my first paper piecing rodeo. Onto piece “B” and so on.

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This morning I finished all 16 different sections and I am about to get ready and put them all together.

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There will be an edit to this post once my very own “Atom” is complete.

Can't wait to finish it off.

Can’t wait to finish it off.

Paris in Paper!

Pop-Paris

I think if you click the image it will animate. Who knows it was my first attempt.

So I have been working on a Pop-Up for a Madeline 75th Anniversary book for Penguin for the last 2 years. It started as a 6 spread big glamorous book and then was cut down to one spread for budget reasons.

After several different versions this is what I am handing in today.

Paris scene for my Madeline Anniversary book for Penguin.

Paris scene for my Madeline Anniversary book for Penguin.

Eiffel Tower in the center with the Arc de Triumph on the left (yes I know it should be on the right but I only have so much room to work in)

Eiffel Tower in the center with the Arc de Triumph on the left (yes I know it should be on the right but I only have so much room to work in)

The orphanage int eh front with Notre Dame in the background.

The orphanage int eh front with Notre Dame in the background.

So I tried different ways of making a nice tall Effiel Tower. Version 1 worked well but once you cut away the famous arch in the base it didn’t have enough pull to keep it open. On to the next.

Effiel Tower mock up version 1

Effiel Tower mock up version 1

Version 2 also looked good but from the side it had a zig zag feeling. On to the third.

Effiel Tower mock up version 2

Effiel Tower mock up version 2

If you ever wondered what a pop looks like before it is assembled. Have a look at my desk. Sadly, it looks like this more often than not.

Any Guesses?

Any Guesses?

Option 3 with the help of Apple Maps. I wanted to find the perfect angle to get the pop to work correctly so Victoria suggested (and yes I am crediting you) to use the map on the pad to get a image.  With the satellite option from Apple maps on the Ipad I managed to get this…

Eiffel

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from our weekend in Paris a few months back.

from our weekend in Paris a few months back.

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I also need a bit of direction with Notre Dame so back to Apple Maps I went.

Notre Dame

Fingers crossed they like it as much as I do.  If not the people in Paris will be hearing me scream from London.