17 December 2014

Snapshots Quilt Along With Fat Quarter Shop!

Next month I'll be joining in a quilt-a-long with Fat Quarter Shop for a special cause! FQS are raising money in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Their aim is to advance cures and means of prevention for catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Each month FQS are releasing a free pattern to make up the quilt, they are encouraging everyone to join in the sewing fun and donate a suggested $5 for each pattern to help raise the funds. The good news is, Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics will match up to $10,000 of donations raised for this amazing cause!! 

So, these are the super fun blocks you'll be offered each month. Aren't they so cute! I'm especially excited about that sewing machine ;-) 

Yep. I need them all now. How about you? Below are us blogger's who are joining in. Be sure to follow our updates on Instagram too, with the hashtag #fqssnapshots 
Which block is your favourite? 
Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
Bonnie Olaveson of Cotton Way
Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting
Thelma Childers of Cupcakes N' Daisies
Pam Viera-McGinnis of Pam Kitty Morning
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Stephanie Kendron of The Modern Sewciety
Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
Greg Jones of Grey Dogwood Studios
Jessie Fincham of Messy Jesse

Find out all the details of the QAL including ordering quilt kits from Fat Quarter Shop on their official page here. Oh, and you have to watch the video too; Bonnie & Camille and Kimberly are the sweetest. So I'll be checking back on January 15th with my first block, the CAKE! Yumm, can't wait.

Naturally Nautical Quilt Finish!

I'm SO pleased to share a finish with you today! I've been itching to complete my Naturally Nautical quilt, but soon after I started making a few blocks a bunch of commissions piled up so sure enough, it dropped to the bottom of my to do list. I've had some free time recently so I've been beavering away with the quilting and managed to get it done and dusted a couple of weeks ago. I pulled it out at the weekend for a little photoshoot in Mousehole, a quaint little fishing village 3 miles from my house. 

A perfect location for such a seaside'y fun quilt! The day I visited was the same day they turn on their famous Christmas lights, which has become quite a popular event here over the years. You might spot the 'Mousehole Harbour Lights' sign in the photo above. The whole village lights up with pretty Christmas decorations, which everyone enjoys.

OK, back to the quilt. It finishes up 64" x 78", it almost ended up smaller when I finished the top and basted it only to realise I had forgotten to add the 4.5" borders! I wanted the boats to float on the quilt so I knew I had to go back and re-add them :-/ I added a border around my backing fabric too, in order to make up the difference. I used scrappy fabrics and it ended up making a nice feature for the back, but I forgot to photograph it, as my very helpful prop assistant was getting cold ;-)

I loooved the original version of this quilt (find the free pattern here) so I stayed close to the simple blue theme. I chose some great nautical fabrics I had on hand from Sew and Quilt, and even managed to fussy cut some ships in a few of the blocks! Also, this is my FIRST free-motion-quilted quilt! Wow, it was a slog... and a steep, steep learning curve but I got there in the end. I chose baptist fans to echo a wave'y style that would work well with the design. Plus baptist fans are pretty amazing, and work well on every quilt, I think. It's certainly not perfect, by any means! But I'm really pleased I managed to do it, as I'm one of those quilter's that moan "I can't FMQ" without ever giving it a proper go! ;-) I think we've all been there, yep? So if I can do it, anyone can. Really.

There's been some great quilter's quilting along with me, if you're on Instagram (I'm @messyjesse1) you can use follow using the hashtag #naturallynauticalquiltalong, there you can see some other fabulous nautical quilts! Don't forget to use the hashtag if you decide to join too, so I can find you :-) Hope you're all having a good week. xo

6 December 2014

Catch Up!

Lot's to catch up on! I haven't done a 'normal' blog post in so long, and gosh I've missed it. 

First up, The Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt. We got our second delivery of these popular quilt patterns at Sew and Quilt right after we got back from our honeymoon. Last week I finally found some time to start the marathon cutting session and get all the blocks cut ready for a lot of chain sewing…. however I pulled a muscle in my side over-doing it with the rotary cutter! Oops, I've given it a rest since then, but I'm SO close for it all being cut and ready to sew! Maybe this weekend I'll finish off? ;-) 

If you're making, it really helps if you label all the blocks by number. I'm also using Kona solids instead of the Bella solids from the pattern so I also laid out all my fabrics first with their corresponding colour name and code. Trust me, you need to do this - less headache later. I'm thinking of putting some kits together for Sew and Quilt shop, would you be interested? 

Next up, here's a super quick Christmas decoration I made for Sizzix as part of my monthly guest blog post - you can find all my posts here. Isn't he the cutest? I'm excited to decorate now! 

Umm… guys I got a COVER! That's my Christmas Log Cabin Wreath quilt on the front of Quilt Now magazine!! (Issue #4) I'm still grinning about this :-) 

I'm absolutely proud as punch to have my first quilt design featured in print, and to get the cover! I'm head over heels in love with the design and I can't wait to get it back so I can hang it for Christmas. I should note a small pattern update from print: the four smaller low volume border pieces - it says cut 2, please cut 4 instead. 

Also I've been beavering away recently to finally finish my Naturally Nautical quilt! There are a few people who have joined in the boating fun on Instagram so you can follow the progress by searching #naturallynauticalquiltalong. I am planning a little photoshoot this weekend so you can see it in all it's glory! Watch this space… Oh and you can find the free pattern to make this here.

I also made up this Christmassy table runner recently! I looove Christmas sewing, and I was dying to cut into some of my new fabrics I picked up whilst quilt shopping on holiday, yay! For what I thought was a really simple pattern, it turned into a quilt math nightmare?! Lot's of wrong measurements, I guess I wasn't on my game that day! I got there in the end though. I had planned to do a pattern available on the blog, but I still haven't figured out how to use Touchdraw, agh! I got Photoshop recently too, don't even ask me about that, we're not on speaking terms ;-) side note - if anyone know's how to use the pen tool to re-draw some scanned-in text I would be forever grateful for some helpful tips? See you next week! xo

20 November 2014

Vintage Vibe Book Winner!

Congratulations Angela Garrett!! You are the winner of the Vintage Vibe e-book! You will be contacted by Martingale in due course to claim your prize :-) thank you to everyone who entered! xo

19 November 2014

Sizzix Christmas Blog Hop! Pincushion Tutorial - Quick Gift Idea

Hello friends, and welcome if you're joining me for the first time from the Sizzix blog. So do you fancy a quick gift idea you can whip up for your quilty friends? Great, because I have the perfect pincushion you can make in a jiffy with your Sizzix machine! 

You will need: 
Fusible Wonderweb (iron-on, double sided adhesive paper)
Fabric; (2) 10" square, approx. + scraps for leaves 
Polyester stuffing

1. Cut out four scrap pieces of fabric large enough to cover the leaf shape, iron the wrong side of the fabric to the shiny side of the fusible paper.

2. Run the fused fabric through the Sizzix machine to make up four leaves.

3. Use a side plate or compass to draw out two circles to make up the pincushion top and bottom, allowing enough space to fit the leaves. 

4. Cut out the two fabric circles. 

5. Peel off the paper backing and adhere the leaves so the centre points meet - don't worry about it being too perfect as the button will cover up the very centre. 

6. Press into place, and use a decorative edging stitch on your machine. 

7. Place the two circles right sides together and sew - leaving a small gap for turning. 

8. Trim into the seam allowance a little to ease the bulk. Turn right sides out and stuff. Whipstitch the gap closed. 

9. Using a small length of wool and a tapestry needle, sew a button to the centre, pulling tightly to create a puffy look. Volia! Now make some more for your friends ;-) 

I hope you enjoyed the little project, if you're after some more Christmas idea's to make be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour … here's the lineup! 

Monday 17th November - Jo Carter 
Tuesday 18th November - Katy Jones
Wednesday 19th November - Me!
Thursday 20th November - Angela Southey
Friday 21st November - Trudi Wood
Saturday 22nd November - Mercedes Jiménez Campuzano

13 November 2014

Vintage Vibe Book Tour

Hello, hello! Long time no speak, wowee I have a lot to catch you all up on - most importantly, I'm now officially married! More on that soon ;-) As today is all about Amber Johnson's new book 'Vintage Vibe', now of course the title grabbed my attention immediately. 

… and then that gorgeous cover quilt. "Traditional quilts, fresh fabrics", sounds perfect right? Agreed. 

You probably follow Amber's blog already, like I do. I'm pretty sure she was one of the first quilting blogs I followed all those years ago? Maybe you follow her on Instagram as well, I do! Although for some reason I hadn't quite put to and to together and realised it was Amber from the blog!? until more recently, doh!! Sorry Amber!  

Back to the book ... There are 14 quilts to make in the book; everything from a traditional flying geese quilt with a unique twist, to a super-sized quilt block ideal for baby quilts, to beautiful Dresden Plate's and charming appliqué and more. Amber says the projects marry's modern, fresh designs with vintage undertones. They all give a little nod to the past, whether in the fabrics, the design, or the quilting itself. They really do, and the quilting for each quilt is perfect too. 

My favourite project from the book is the Rainy Day table runner, I instantly fell in love with those raindrop shapes, and I've been itching to try out some appliqué for so long. The styling for the project is just perfect too, propped in the hay bails with the jams and preserve's made me think of classic American country kitchens so I pulled out some small scale, vintage style floral prints and got to work!  

First block done! aaaaand I'm planning on finishing this one too! It's so cute, and I'm dying to have it in my kitchen! If you're new to appliqué, or quilting in general you can most definitely complete these projects. Amber has a great in-depth guide on quilt-making basics at the back of the book, and each project has clear step-by-step instructions. I found the appliqué information invaluable.

Photographs are courtesy of Martingale Publishing, photography by Brent Kane

You can purchase this fabulous book here. Be sure to follow along on the blog tour as each blogger will be highlighting a different project so you can get a good feel for the book. 

11/11/14 - April @ http://www.aprilrosenthal.com/
11/18/14 - The Fat Quarter Shop @ http://fatquartershop.blogspot.com/
11/25/14 - Sherri @ http://www.aquiltinglife.com/
12/11/14 - Heather @ http://quiltstory.blogspot.com/
12/16/14 - Andy @ http://www.abrightcorner.com/
12/23/14 - Melissa @ http://www.polkadotchair.com/

Martingale, the publishers of the book are kindly offering a FREE e-copy to one reader! 

Just leave a comment on this post telling me …. 
"How many WIP's do you have going on at the moment?"

I'll announce the winner next Thursday, be sure to check back! Best of luck. xo