Friday, 9 November 2012

Little pickers wear bigger knickers!

"Little pickers wear bigger knickers" ... thats one of my hair dresser favourite sayings. He tells me all the time and of course its true but sometimes its just too tempting to pick, especially when you've been on holiday.  In this case though the picking wasn't foody bits (although I did indulge in some wonderful sweet treats)

 ... it was crafty supplies! 

 I am just back from 10 days away in Houston visiting Quilt Market and then the Quilt Festival. It was FABULOUS!   Its been over 10 years since I have been to Houston and I was amazed at the size of both market and festival. If you haven't been think football pitch ... 9 of them !  All filled with row after row after row of vendors with beautiful things to entice you to part with your dollars and frame after frame of gorgeous quilts to stop you dead in your tracks. 

 It has to be seen to be believed. 

Friday Night of Market is Sample Spree 
Queues of people waiting to go in! 

I found some UK talent at Market!

Aneela Hoey at the Moda Booth

I found some Modern Inspiration

Bill Kerr at his Modern Quilts Studio booth

Saw Linzi Uptons amazing Quilted Yurt!

Tried the new Juki Lonagrm
(Trudi and Emma ...if you read this is was VERY good!)

Ate some great cakes!

Selected Olives from waaaay too much choice

and was inspired walking on this carpet!

The quilt show was good too ! 

Best of Show 2012 ! 

America Let it Shine by Sherry Rogers 

I didn't go with a shopping list which was a big mistake as I kept seeing things I couldn't resist. Fabric, thread, patterns, quilt hanging systems, longarm bits and bobs, ruffle fabric, elastic, ribbons. Oh my goodness it was just too much and I did pick!  A little here and a little there and before I knew it I had expanded out of my suitcase and had to buy another one (on top of the spare one I took with me!)  You should have seen me and my travel companions on the last night - packing and stuffing our goodies into the cases and frantically borrowing scales to make sure we didn't overrun the weight limitation per case. At one point I was sure Laura - my room buddy - was going to sit on her case to close it.  What a scream!  

The week went very quickly - too quickly but we squeezed so much into it, even a trip to the Johnson Space centre ..which was amazing. I got to go inside a space shuttle and even took a photo of a space loo! And of course we stopped via a mal to do more shopping.  

In addition to the bits I brought back I have a few more in transit - oops!  But these truly are gorgeous and I know you will love them too.  Robyn my other travel mate is a very bad influence on me and I'd like to say it was her fault I succumbed to Richard the Kilt from Akonye Kena fabrics.  Richard is best described as colourful character. Instantly recognised by his kilt and Doc Martins, his personality is an equal to his dress sense and his products even more so. The shelves of his booth were dripping with colourful beads and baskets - real beauties but the Ugandan fair trade cottons he had were divine!  100% 58" wide cottons in 60 colours.  The range is called Seed to Sewer because the cotton is grown, woven and processed in one area.  The whole range is hand dyed using both commercial and natural dyes from local plants and berries. There are 20 natural dye colours in the range and these looked a lot like linen to me. I have samples to work with now but the main line should arrive soon after Christmas. The max run length is only 5yds per piece though because they are hand dyed, so it may be a case of first come first served on this line. 

Other lines I ordered include some  Maywood Woolly flannels - which are 100% cotton but look like wool and due next April the whole line of Jason Yenter's Modern Solids from In the Beginning Fabrics. These are 100% cotton that look  a lot like silk! 

(Oh look at that ... I ordered cottons that look like linen, cottons that looks like wool and cottons that look like silk! ) 

Now its back to work again. I took this week off to recover - I'm not a good trans-atlantic traveller and I knew I would be tired - I'm still tired but I'm forcing myself to work today!  The shop will reopen on Monday 12th but just a heads up I will be starting a grand clearance sale on Monday 19th Nov to make way for all the new stock coming in. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

A bit woolly!

Yesterday dh seconded me to help him in a cross-country mission to collect his new toy. Lunch would be thrown in and a visit to an Art and Fabric shop was promised so it didn't seem such a hard task to abandon work for the day and enjoy a stroll around Petworth. As it turned out the weather was lovely and the 45minute drive was well worth it. Even better was the chance find of a Bronte recycled wool picnic blanket in OakApple, made apparently using a process called 're-weaving' (anyone know what this is?)

The colours are very earthy mustard/olive greens and heather pink/purples. Its made in the UK and only cost £17.95 too so I was a very happy bunny.

 Speaking of bunnies.... a quick hop over to the Bronte site revealed these lovely grey blankets ....

 ....these lovely door stops

and this gorgeous weekend bag

So dh,  if you read this post ... any/all of the above are on my 
birthday/christmas list.

and just in case you're wondering,  this is dh's new toy,

that I have to say I quite like too!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Felt Roses

 Yesterday we were invited for dinner with some good friends and I had intended making and taking along a pumpkin pie. Time escaped me though and since the kitchen is not my favourite room in the house I opted instead to take chocolates. To spruce up the offering and hide my baking inadequacy I made a bunch of felt roses to embellish the top. I enjoyed making them and the gift was well received so I thought I'd share how I made them with you.

Now I suppose I am lucky that I have a Sizzix Big Shot and this lovely 3-D Flowers #2 die.  The larger flower produces a rosette around 3.5" and the smaller around 2.25".  The Big Shot is a die cutter - a bit like an Accuquilt (I have one of those too ... yes my secret obsession is emerging here!) Die cutters make life so easy when it comes to cutting odd and complicated shapes - these flowers included although you know I think you could easily get away with cutting this shape freehand and still get great results.  Its hard to see but the die essentially cuts a very long scalloped strip of fabric that spirals round and round and once you have your strip you simply roll and glue to make the rosette. Simples!  It did take me a couple of goes to get the shape right mind.  But anyway heres how I did it in pictures!

Sizzix 3-D Flowers #3 Die number 657153

 I used a 10" square of the Xotic Bamboo/Rayon blend felt we have just got in the shop for each rose and I cut out the larger flower size.

For the chocolate roses I chose Fuchsia, Sangria, Passion Flower and Pina Colada 
(Great names aren't they!)

Passion FlowerPina Colada

For the tutorial here I am using Pirate Cove (thats the green) and Macaw Red

 Cut out the spiral scallop strip 

This is the spiral uncurled 

Now you need glue. I tried sewing them first and it just didn't work as well so sorry folks I have resulted to textile glue.  

I used Gutermann HT2 Textile glue since I had it on hand and it works brilliantly.
 Put a drop of glue on the end of the spiral that starts at the outside (not the bit in the centre)

Fold it over and start to coax it into a curl.

Add more glue dabs at each scallop tip.
When I made the first few I added glue right along the inner edge but you don't need to add that much at all. A small drop every now and again is enough to keep the shape and stop the rosette unfurling.

Start to roll - trying to keep the bottom edge even.
Add more glue drops as needed.

Once you get to the bottom put a larger dab of glue on the base and sit the rose upright. Press lightly to create the rose.  You will have enough time at this stage to mess around with the shape before the glue dries. 

Some rossettes I rolled quite tightly and other I left a little looser.

Let the roses dries for half an hour or so and then add to your chosen chocolate box!  

To fix them to the lid I used strips of double sided tape which is enough to stop them falling off but not so permanent that they can't be removed and used for something else after the chocolates have gone! 

 I'm going to make more red and green roses now and make a christmas wreath next I think.


This is the spiral shape by the way. I think you could easily cut this with scissors but it will take a good deal longer than a die cut of course. 

 What do you think  .. should I add some die-cut felt pieces to the shop

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Ding Dong!

Surfin Santa from Alexander Henry Fabrics

Its been an interesting week this week ... DH has retired from work! Friday was his last day and I can honestly say I have never seen anyone look so happy. He was beaming from ear to ear as he walked out the house. I haven't seen him look like this for many years and I am quite looking forward to having  the 'real-non-corporate-him' around again. He'll be busy with his own interests but he has volunteered to play postman and take the shop orders to the post office. I'm sure he will love carrying those bright pink bags I use! 

So while hubby was smiley I was a bit grumpy this week. I've been waiting patiently for the delivery of the Alexander Henry Christmas fabrics for a few weeks now and I was more than just a little annoyed when I found out that they had been sitting in the delivery office for over 10 days and no one had bothered to inform me. How mad is that?  Anyway after a 40 mile round trip Friday morning I got my mitts on them!  Oooh they are lovely and VERY different. Alexander Henry Fabrics  are known for unusual fabric designs and Surfin Santa and All I want for Christmas fit the 'unusual' bill very well! 
Look at this chilled out Santa!  
Surfin the waves and sipping coconut juice.
Hope he's not so relaxed he forgets Christmas altogether!

and as for All I want for Christmas well 

...ding dong ....

 is all I can say!
All I want for Christmas

Christmas fabric with a difference methinks!

 Joining the christmas stock too this week are some

Green Pompom trim

Jumbo Pompom Trim in Red

The new Berties Bows ribbons were MEGA popular last week. 
So much so they sold out and I had to reorder. 
Thank you. Hope you all liked them!

Quilted with Love ribbon

These Vintage Doily Sewing kits came in too. 
Normally I wouldn't go for anything like this but at £5.50 I think they are really good little stocking fillers. The scissors won me over actually. They have a very clever slide and fold mechanism that makes them tiny enough to fit safely in the tin. 

Vintage Sewing Kit

I also managed to get some crochet and a wee bit of sewing done too. 
On the sewing front I've been making some zigzag blocks with the 
1930's fabrics with Kona Ivory and Celadon. 
(oh, while I remember I got 5 new ones of those this week too)
I haven't got a piccy of the blocks yet but I'll post mid week if I think to. 

So thats it for this week.

Happy Quilting!


ps My broken toe is mending nicely .. you can tell from the reduction in my facial grimaces!