a walk in the woods

slicing

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This is what I am up to today.  I've finally sliced up a little time out for myself and have been busy cutting and chopping up fabric.  Bliss.

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I'm doing something I've been itching to get on with for a while.  Making a quilt (or two or three) using a mix of fabrics from all of my lines.

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It's fun to see the fabrics all mingling and hanging out together, it will be interesting to see them in new combinations.

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These two pictures are what I have been up to the last couple of days - making kitty blocks!  I thought up this idea a while back to make out of hello petal but since fabric is a long way off from arriving, I thought I'd make one up from my current fabrics for now.

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I'm loving how the blocks are looking together, so much fun to make too!  More details coming soon.


step inside

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As promised last week, I'm back to show you around a little of my new home.  Unsuprisingly it was my sewing room most of you wanted to start with so here we are.  As expected there is a ton of fabric.  In fact there is a whole wall of fabric ;) 

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It's nice to finally be able to have it all out displayed on shelves instead of shovelled into many drawers.  The shelves are Billy Bookcases from Ikea and they are ideal for storage because only the middle shelf is permanantly fixed, the rest are easily adjusted, which is good if like me you are always chopping and changing your mind.  Annie at The Village Haberdashery very kindly saved up the bolts for me and it only took me about a week of ironing and pinning to get things done.

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In complete contrast to the colour explosion belonging to the wall of fabric, the opposite side of the room is stark in it's whiteness.  I intended to add some colour in the form of accessories but I kind of enjoy the plainess over here.

(Cupboards and desk are Expedit, drawers are Alex, from Ikea)

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Next to Alex is my sewing table (at least it will be soon, I haven't sewn a stitch in over two months).  The table is Liatorp (again from Ikea) and I have it at the full extended width.  I am revelling in it's hugeness, which will be a welcome relief after years of coffee table quilting.  The chair is Ingolf.

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See what I mean about the whiteness (even matches my radiator).

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Which takes us over to the big window (still no curtains after two months, although we have got around to ordering them at long last).

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Over the other side of the big window, more shelves, more fabric and more colour.

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And another little window.

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And more fabric

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And back to the wall of fabric.

And that's it.  Kind of turned out exactly as I'd planned in my head all those months ago.  I'm sure it's pretty much what you expected too?


a bedroom in dresden

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Thank you so much for all of your support both in the comments and by email to my last post :) and a big thank you too to my first sponsors now snuggled up right there on the top right.  Things are feeling a little lighter now and I have you all to thank for that.

For today's post we are returning to a favourite quilt block destination of mine -

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The dresden plate.  I will never tire of playing around with those petals or blades or whatever you like to call them.  I made these projects just over a year ago for a book submission and despite having got them back about a month ago, they have been sitting around all folded up on my nice little quilt shelf, waiting (and waiting).

But no more.

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This little number has been placed lovingly onto the bedside table of my daughters - it'll no doubt soon be smothered in hair bobbles and lip balm (so this might one day be a 'before' photo).

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And this is the 'sister' to the table cover - a quilted floor rug  (which also makes a mighty fine wall hanging or baby quilt).

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Here are my feet, testing out the performance quality of that rug-ability for my daughters. 

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Let's just hope they notice the home dec updates when they got home.

The patterns for both these projects are available in the new Moda Bakeshop Book - Sweet Celebrations (along with a boatload of other good stuff it has to be said).


The ones that got away

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Working on new fabric colours today, I pulled out a few of the strike offs of rejected colorways from 'A Walk In The Woods' and thought you might be interested in looking at them too.  It's interesting to think how different a collection can look re-coloured and how differently it could have been percieved if I'd released it this way.  Above are mostly warm colours, browns and darker pinks (including super girly foxes on pink).

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And here are more brown versions with a few olives and a different version of the blue colourway.

I kind of like that they are darker and more intriguing than the chosen colours, in line with the tale itself.  But I feel we went along the right lines with the more nursery friendly colours of the final shades.

But what do you think??????  Do you like the idea of stranger and less obvious shades in fabric or do you like to play it safe???  Do you think of colours in terms of seasons or do find you buy the same shades year round?

I'm looking at colours for new fabric today so any input will help me greatly :)


kettle

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I'm not sure how much you think you know about me but if there is one thing I love it is this - a cup of tea. I practise my love of tea several times a day with cups of the ordinary (otherwise known as builder's brew), peppermint (to wake me up) and cammomile (to calm me down).  My daughter's ask me how I drink so much when they don't drink any and I can merely tell them that one day, they will be just like me - sitting around, doing things and drinking endless tea.

Given a couple of other things you might already know I love - fabric & patchwork, it's a no brainer really that when I saw the new Sew Ichigo Kitchen Classics pattern set, my first port of sewing call would land at the dock of the tea kettle.  This is only my second ever attempt at paper piecing.

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Things went really well with this block, I had my seam ripper close to hand but never used it once.  

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Now that my first block is done, I need to think about what I could make it into.  I really would like to make something for my kitchen area, above.  I'm just trying to work out if I should make a new tea cosy, a decorative pot holder or mmmmm not sure, might need to drink another cup and think on that one.

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confetti

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Confetti is the third quilt I've made from my new line and for this one I thought it was about time I tried something new and different and out of my comfort zone-esque.  

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In this instance I have opted to use a print for my background fabric where I would previously have auto-piloted for a solid one.  I'm more than happy with the results, I definitely need to play around more often.

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Although I still need to practise the art of non wonky quilt pics more often too (sighhhhhhh).

Quilt is made from jelly roll strips/fabric yardage.  The design does not use a whole jelly roll, so if you have odd strips left over from previous projects this is a great eat them up project.

Quilt size is 56" x 60"/66" x 72".

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Isn't it great how the same fabrics can be used to create such varied looking quilts?


crackle

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Today seems like a good day for a brand new quilt.  This one is called the Crackle quilt and the seed for it's design began here, when I stitched together some pieced offcuts from my fancy quilt and took a bit of a fancy to the results.

I like it because it's both pretty and jagged, you can't beat a bit of contrast in your quilt's style.  Plus if you take a minute to stare at the quilt, two different patterns emerge from within the design, 

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can you see them? 

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There's the chopped up kaleidoscope one and the on point scrappy square one. Two for one is always good.

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Pattern is now available in my shop here.

This one was super easy to make and came together using a layer cake and some white Moda bella solid. It is made without the use of templates and finishes up at 57" x 65"

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This is how the girl's room is now looking, pretty and patchwork-y!!


marshmallow

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Right before I went to market, I was doing an awful lot of sewing with some of the pink and white fabrics from the new line.  I wanted to have a little bit of fun with piecing lots of fussy cut images into simple compositions.  

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Cue the idea for this pillow, lots of tiny-ish pink and white squares sewn up into a checkboard pattern.  I call this my 'Marshmallow' pillow because that is what it reminds me of, those fluffy, oomphy, squishy cylindrical balls of sugary goodness.  Well maybe not goodness if you happen to be a dentist...

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perfect for a squishy, oomphy pillow effect.

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This is another pillow idea I was working on, a double dresden!!!  I can really see me playing with this idea and coming up with triple or quadrupal drezzies too.

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Two perfectly squish-i-liscious covers to live happily ever after forever and ever with.


back

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I'm back!

Before I show you the pics, I want to describe the quilt market experience in a nutshell or six.  Market is like heaven for quilting fabric lovers, that is a given but it is also like no other experience I've ever had.  For starters, I jump on a plane with Lu and Katy for a 10 hour flight and we go 6 hours back in time whilst up in the sky.  We land and go out for a meal with a huge amount of people I've never met but know a little from being on the internet and it is ridiculous o clock so I can't even string a sentence together.  Each day I am fine but by midday I'm flagging.  By night time I hardly even remember my own name but night time is a social whirlwind so I stagger around in some kind of trance feeling like I'm drowning.  Five days later and I have got used to the time change only to travel back home and get all muddled again.  When I get home the house is a mess and I have 88!!!! emails to answer.

But let's forget about all that and look at the fabric.  The pic at the top was my display area.

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All the moda designers had their names and the name of their new line embroidered up in a little hoop like this, how cute!

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Neither of the quilts in the above pic were mine, I know Sherri made the one on the left but if anyone happens to know who made the main quilt please let me know so I can add the details. ETA quilt pattern is by Sweet Jane and will also be featured for sale through United Notions.

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This was Sherri's quilt and there will be a pattern sheet available through Moda soon.

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Here is my 'Sugar Drop' quilt peeking out of the drawer.

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The Moda booth theme this time around was Made With Love, hence the stitched names in a hoop, beyond cute pincushions,

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and notion heaven all around....

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Everywhere you looked.

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I'm not going to even attempt to show you all around the booths at market but here are my top two tips from this market, Summersville by Lu Summers.

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And School Days by Sandy Klop, who was also showing her new Pezzy print line.

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One of my absolute highlights from this market was meeting this sweet lady at last!!!  Cathy Gaubert is every bit as sweet natured as she appears on her blog and in her cute embroideries.  She is also the author of the book she is holding and one of the projects in it was written by me!!  More on that very soon!!!

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Here we have Lu and Malka, discussing their art perhaps?????

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And here's Kate Spain working hard, definitely another highlight for me was meeting Kate, she is like a gem with lots more gems stuck on top!

Not to say it was any less of a thrill meeting and talking to all the other designers at Moda, they are all entirely sweet and hugely entertaining.

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On a few very rare occasions I actually made it outside, here we have Tula Pink, Katy and Lu enjoying the sun.  Meeting Tula was out of this world amazing because she is so unique and she actually knew who I was!!!  I was completely floored to say the least.

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Here we are after dinner on the last night.  L - R Lu, Amy, Katy, me, Tacha, Cathy and Amanda (Cathy's editor at Lark books).

Believe me this is one speck of a squillionth of what happened at market, I can't even begin to start listing all of the amazing people I met (I'm so afraid of leaving anyone out).  So please think of this post as a sip of market and not a coverage in it's entirety.


take it away

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Today, I finally started packing for my imminent trip to market.  The clothes bit didn't take too long - 3 pairs of very similar jeans, 5 cardigans, a handful of tops and a pair of boots or thereabouts - The most important bit I have to consider is what I should take with me to pass the time for the 10 hour flight.  This involves taking lots of pretty stitched bags crammed with stitchy goodies, although no scissors and only short needles are allowed on the plane so you can see why this takes a bit of thinking and preperation beforehand.  

Thankfully I am travelling in the company of Katy and Lu on this trip and for some reason or other they have decided I am some kind of crochet whizz kid and asked me to teach them the art of the granny square, you can see a little yarn and a crochet hook peeking out of the pouch above right.  The cute little hexagon pouch is what I always use to house my camera when I'm out and about and I have Katy to thank for stitching up this little beauty for me.  On the bottom right you can see the clutch I made earlier this year and use all the time on account of it's many handy compartments inside, pattern can be found here.

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I'm also taking this handy tote bag again too, theres lots of pockets inside and out and its just a handy size, I used the tote bag pattern from Cath Kidston's book 'Sew' to stitch this up.

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These are a couple of handy pouches that will hold some embroidery and hexagon bitty bobs to keep me happily stitching between take off and landing.

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I whipped up these cute drawstring bags the other day using Jeni's pattern which is very well explained and super easy to follow.  I need to make lots more of these, perhaps a little red one next?

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I also had a go at making some handy needle book's, I made up my own pattern and included a zip pouch at the front to add even more stuff.

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Very handy, inside...

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and out!!