Marcia Derse Fabrics!

Look what the postman delivered!

Thursday Pieces

Today is the longest day of the year, so more moments for stitching!!!

So far I have stitched all of the Water Wheel blocks together. I made 100 in total, and I love the way this is looking. It needs a border now, and I have a feeling that only something pieced will do.

Yesterday I went on a trip to Lewes on a wonderfully sunny day. I came back with some goodies from the antique shops:

I just love the colours and illustrations in these. I think we had something similar to these at home when I was growing up.

Of course I went to Patchwork Dog and Basket! I came out with these:

And also with this:

It's an entry form for their Great British Tea Cosy Competition! We have until 21st July to get our tea cosies sewn and sent. Then they will be on show at Made in Lewes (right next to Patchwork Dog and Basket!) during the Olympics. The £3-50 entry fee will help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. I think this is a lovely way to participate in the Olympic celebrations, as I won't be doing any running!!!

Let me know if you make Tea Cosy, and we could see a preview before visiting them in person down in Lewes!

Friday Pieces

One of the great things about Quilt Market is meeting up with friends who live far away. Two lovely ladies who I meet are Ruth Chandler and Liz Kettle. They publish with the same house as me, Landauer, and we meet up on the booth when we are demo-ing. I am always fascinated by the beautiful things that they create and how they inspire others to do the same. 

This is Liz busy stitching away on some simply lovely books ready for a magazine article.

Here is a close-up. She was just adding some silk ribbon to tie the book with. They are always so generous with their knowledge and ouze excitement about the process of creativity. Liz was also very generous with chocolate and scissors when we met up this time. Obviously the chocolate thing makes sense, who wouldn't want to be friends with someone who has great chocolate to share (thanks, Liz!), but scissors?

Well, Liz introduced me to Havel's Scissors. And those of you who know that not all pins, needles and thimbles are created equal, know that well made tools really do make a difference to your sewing experience. And my new favourite pair of scissors are these with the curved blade. You can snip threads really close to the fabric without having to worry about nicking the fabric! Other good points include, blade cover, so less chance of me stabbing myself, and pink handles, so less likely to loose them in the fabric heaps! Look for them when you are next sewing shopping, and treat yourself, as they really do make a difference.

And continuing with my hexagon inspiration, this great fabric was spied on the Birch Fabrics booth at market.

Something to look out for when you don't want to stitch your own hexagons! And Moda had hexagon printed cloths on the tables: definitely the summer of hexagons!

 

In the meantime, stitching wise I am sewing a sultry sawtooth star from a great range of French fabrics. Just back from the quilting, so this Jubilee weekend I will be binding!

And last but not least, thanks for the lovely comments about stitching out doors! The lucky winner is:

Lesley

I will email you for the address!

Happy Stitching everyone!

Eridge Park Decorative Living Fair

Popped up the road yesterday to visit the Decorative Living Fair at Eridge Park, which is between Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough. It's aways nice to see these shows and get inspired.

I was especially keen to go as I saw that Viv of 'Hen's teeth' was going to be there.

Her stand was close to the entrance so I did not have to look very far for her! It was lovely to have chat with her. I have purchased from her Etsy site before, so it was a real treat to be able to see her lovely things in person, and then spend my pennies.

I was glad to have stopped by when I did, as when I passed her on my way out a while later, her stock was very much depleted. Hope it was a good day Viv!

Viv also teaches, it would be great to have her down this way to do some classes don't you think?

Then in another tent was 'Washerwoman'. This was a great surprise as I had not realised this lady would be there. She had a lovely selection of things and I was very taken by some Sanderson fabric. She also had a hexagon quilt that was unfinished and folded so you could only see the back. I asked to see it before I paid for my fabric, and it was love at first sight!!

The hexagons are tiny, about 1/2in from point to point, and the pattern was amazing.

No pictures here just yet, but this is the piece on her stand, that I did not buy:

It was small tray cloth perhaps 12in by 18in (?).

These lozenge hexagons were about 1/2in from top to bottom, and as well as the fussy cutting and design planning, some of them were cut into four pieces:

These were just painstakingly sewn beautiful pieces. Something that is a complete labour of love!

Having read so much about hexagon quilts ever since I started quilting in the early 1980's, and now with their popularity returning and becoming a 'fashionable stitch' again, I have looked for a hexagon quilt that really grabbed me as something special. And I am so pleased to have one! I promise pictures when the weather gets better.

I have also been stitching away, so will try to post about my stitching before I go to Kansas City, MI, USA for the trade fair next week.

In the meantime pop over and see Victoria, for  woman who gets things done!!!

Just love her 'Scrapping it Up' quilt, quilted in my favourite design of Baptist Fan!

Kathy Doughty

One of the highlights of the Nantes show was that Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession in Australia was visiting.

She has a new book out with Quiltmainia.

Kathy's quilts just always contain such a wonderful selection of fabrics:

Talking to one of the many visitors to her Maison at the show:

And here in her class on Friday showing us how and where to place the templates for different effects the fabric would give:

These are a few of the completed blocks from the afternoon:

Left to Right- David, sorry don't know your name, me, lady from Hagen Waagenmakers, Holland.

We could choose from pre selected fabric packs, and as ever it was interesting to see how people put the fabrics together. David had the same pack as me. His block was great, it made me think of a New York skyline in his fabric selection!

And this was Kathy's quilt from a great Denyse Schmidt line:

And needless to say, the book is just great, get yours ordered now!

Quick Turnaround!

Well, we are all back in one piece from our skiing trip to France.

I had time to relax and read and sew whilst the Men skiied. I took a few pictures of some carvings that might inspire some quilty designs:

And I went armed with some projects, and made good head way!

I put some surrounds on my Circle Game blocks:

So that's six down and only ten more to go! I think these will be worked on when I am away in the Summer. As much as I would like to surge on as the end is in sight, I have some other things that are taking my time at present. 

I was asked to do a book for an English publisher last year, and it is now at the proof reading stage. There have been glimpses of the projects in one or two posts, but more will be revealed when all is 'done and dusted'! 

And although I am only just back from France, I am off again next week to Nantes (hence the 'quick turn around') to the quilt show run by Quiltmania magazine! I am so excited about this. I have wanted to find the time to go for a few years now.

The other excitement will be that one of the teachers this year is Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession in Australia. Look on the above link and you can see the classes that are offered, and if you click on the books on the side bar, you actually get to see the quilts in the book!

So I have my supplies list for my class with Kathy to pack, and maps to print off so that I can visit La Drogourie the wonderful french knitting and craft shop!

Hopefully lots of pictures when I get back!

In the meantime go over to HERE to see a quilt I so wish I could have designed and made! Do you think Alicia would produce the pattern if we asked nicely?

Utility Quilting Blog Tour!

Well if you are here for the tour, let's get down to business!

Each day a great blog author will be telling you why they think my new book is a good idea for you to have on your book shelf.

At the end of the tour if you have left a comment on my blog I will be doing a drawing  for this bundle of goodies:

Utility Quilting

Valdani Cotton Pearl no12

Bohin Betweens needles size 5

and

a bundle of Makower's latest fabric line.

I will send world wide, so everyone will get a chance!

Here is the list so you will know where to go each day:

21st February, Elizabeth at Broderie

22nd February, Lucy or Jen at Amitie Textiles or Amitie Girl

23rd February, Lori at Humble Quilts

24th February, Kathie at Inspired by Antique Quilts

27th February, Mary at Molly Flanders

28th February, Nicky at Mrs Sew and Sow

29th February, Jane at  Sew Create it

If you have left a comment with me  by the end , I will do the drawing on March 2nd!

It will be fun to travel around the world to visit with these inspiring quilters!

What will you be sewing while we travel?

I have been working on a Quilting-on-the-Go Spools quilt, but no pictures just yet! Sorry for the tease!

I do however have pictures of a quilt I have been hand piecing for a little while, 'Boxed in Diamonds' I think it is called:

It has been growing from the centre outwards, and I am so surprised at how big it has gotten in a short space of time!

Big Baskets

I am often inspired by old quilts and I saw a basket quilt, made with only nine blocks, on 'an online auction house' recently that was no exception.

It had a cheddar/gold background, and quite strongly coloured baskets. The blocks I reckoned were about 20", so nine of them makes a sizeable lap quilt.

So I set to. I raided my fabric stash for a selection of the backgrounds and the baskets. I came unstuck with anything that worked for the basket handles, and brought 1m of fabric to cut those from.

Rough layout, baskets with no handles yet!

Then I had some help:

The edge of the basket closest is my favourite, made from a Heather Ross fabric and something from Quilt Gate.

With handles and a border:

When the weather gets brighter I hope to get some outdoor shots of this, as I can hang it on the clothes line then. I might hope to add that it will be quilted too, but I fear this is a top that now 'out of my system' will need time to mature before I have time to quilt it!

Take a look at the side bar today as I have revamped my favourites!

 

Relaxing Stitching?

Busy stitching here to get some things finished before Quilt Market.

It is not so much that this is stuff that needs to go with me to show at the various prsentations that I will be doing whilst there, but more if I don't finish these things now, how will I have time after Quilt Market. With all the new ideas that I will see when I'm there, stuff half done goes on the back burner again!

So I have had surge on my Circle Game blocks:

And now I have found the right fabrics for my surrounds, I can start on those too.!

Some of the designers have started to hint at the great new things to look out for at market. I am so looking forward to seeing the fabric collection by Charlotte Lyons. I have had bits from her Etsy shop over the years, and this fabric looks great! No doubt there will be more inspired sewing with it from Charlotte over the next fews posts!

I am also keen to see the Denyse Schmidt fabrics from FreeSpirit, a relaunch of an old collection….. that way we all get a second chance to stock up!

 

Autumnal

The weather here has been lovely and autumnal the last few days, and so sunny, but chilly at nights. I have nearly got all my wintery clothes back in my wardrobe, but will be searching out the summery stuff ready for Quilt Market in Houston in 2 weeks!

I was having a look at the pictures from Spring Market, (and realised that I never take as many as I think I have), but I had some of the Basic Grey Booth and the Curio fabric line. I just love this, and we are just getting some over here now!

This is what they did in the booth:

All the collection has such a nice Autumn feel with the greens and oranges!

Other things of interest around here have been the interest taken by Quilters in the Frixion pens. These gel pens can be used for marking fabrics, but with all these chemical based pens , where is this line of ink disappearing to? Jane has a great post HERE where she shows why you should think twice about these pens…….

And as if there weren't enough things to stitch around here, I have taken the plunge and cut out my fabrics for the Bloomin' Workshop Carpenters Wheel QAL!

I am going for the 4in strips and will attempt the four block setting option!

Anyone else here having a go?