Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fat Quarterly Retreat :: Part 2 :: And a Giveaway!

Ready for part two of the retreat round up?  I promise there is no part three (whew!) and if you make it all the way through this post you'll find a prize at the bottom.  Bonus!  

Let's start with photos from not only one, but TWO classes with Jen Kingwell.  Oh. Yeah.  My first class was hand quilting with Jen (sure, we're BFFs now....) where we were each to bring a 20 inch quilt sandwich to practice our hand stitching.  

It was a pretty super class for three reasons.  First, there were only about 12 of us in the class so it was like having a one on one conversation.  You could ask any question you had and she was very relaxed chatting away.  Second, Jen demonstrated her technique for hand quilting using a clear plastic sheet.  You could see where her needle was going, what angle it was at and what her hand under the "quilt" was doing.  Such a simple idea and it made all the difference.  Finally, she took a good bit of time to discuss notions - what thread you can use, what needles she likes and why, how to use a thimble, etc.  Brilliant.

She discussed stitching while travelling.  As you know, I stitch on every flight I take, on all buses going by and when ever I am in my camper.  Apparently she does too!  Jen made for each and every one of us a little travel pin cushion that is shaped like a ring.  It just slips on your finger and holds all you need without it rolling off your seat.  I'm sure you look less like a psycho using that on a flight vs. leaving pins in the back of the seat in front of you.  Just sayin'.

AND we had a cheeky show and tell.  Jen Kingwell...yes, THE Jen Kingwell, pulls out Green Tea and Sweet Beans and Gypsy Wife from a small suitcase like they were random scraps she stitched together watching TV reruns of Friends the week before the retreat.  You should have seen us - the quilt junkies with our cameras flashing.  Hilarious.  There was no dignity.

She discussed her fabric choices, her quilting style,etc.  What an amazing learning experience. 

After class, she draped her quilts over the table in the hall so we could closely look at each of the blocks.  She let us flip them over, re-arrange them for photos and ooo to our hearts delight.

Gypsy Wife

Gypsy Wife

Gypsy Wife

Green Tea - the flower block in the center is my favorite!

Green Tea

Nicky and Jen, chatting away....

My second class with Jen was Green Tea & Sweet Beans where we were to learn tracing templates, hand piecing and needle turn appliqué.  Now, these techniques were not part of my repertoire going to the retreat and I dare say they will remain absent moving forward.  This is not my happiness.  But I wanted to give hand piecing and appliqué a try...who better to learn from then the master herself?  

Jen gave each of us a copy of her pattern and a quilter's wheel (what a fab invention!), gave us hints and tips on tracing a template, using sand paper to secure our fabric/templates, marking fabric and chatted about the possibility of using her pattern with machine piecing (now that's interesting!).  Jen stitched along with us, giving us plenty of opportunity to ask questions and observe up close.

Together we were to make this block that would require us to trace templates, cut our fabric, use hand piecing and appliqué the stems.  Right. 

After a three hour long class (I think it was three...) I made this:

One flower head.  Now, that said, I learned a tremendous amount and I will continue on with this quilt using my machine and raw edge appliqué.  It will be a long term project.

But what, you want to know, am I giving away?  To share the retreat with those of you who could not attend, I wanted to give away the contents of my retreat goodie bag!  That's right - a fat quarter of apples, solids from both Kona and Riley Blake, two mini charm packs, a pack of Makower Nautical prints, swatch buddies AND a COPY OF GREEN TEA AND SWEET BEANS.  Yes, it's all yours.  

This giveaway is open to anyone who did not attend the retreat.  Just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite thing is about stitching with friends and I will draw one winner on Sunday night (3 Aug) by random number generator.  Please be sure you are not a no-reply commenter - if you are and have not included your email in your comment, I am deleting your entry.

Good luck, everyone!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fat Quarterly Retreat :: Part 1 ::

I realize nearly everyone else who attended the Fat Quarterly Retreat has already posted about their time at the retreat, but took me a while to get that organized.  Please just play along nicely and let me reminisce.

About 10 days ago I woke up before the sun and made my way down to the airport to grab a flight to London.  I was really looking forward to an hour of quiet time to myself, a coffee, the newspaper and a little happy stitching.  I pulled out my Big Stitch Swap cross stitch and x-ed my way to the land of the Union Jack.

The retreat was just lovely - lots of old friends complimented by several new-to-me faces who were very enthusiastic, happy and chatty.  It was a lovely crew of folks to share a weekend.  I signed up for five classes, each of which was led by a really patient, excited, knowledgeable instructor.  Some classes really inspired me and others just did not suit me, but I am glad I tried them all.  It was a great adventure.  Quickly, let's run through two of them...I will save the others for a second post.

First up is Amy Smart's Fabulously Fast Tiles class where we started making a quilt top from her new book.  This is a very basic, straight forward pattern of strip piecing that will come together quite quickly if I could (or when I will) dedicate a weekend to it.   I am quite happy to have it in my tool belt for a go-to gift.

Amy was chatty, clear, friendly and was wonderful answering our many questions.  She gave us hints and tips as we went about how we could get more fabric variation in our top or which fabrics to choose.

There were also very clear instructions for cutting/squaring and piecing a top on point.  Look at Di there soaking it all in!

I stitched like the mad woman I am and came up with a few tiles and lots of pairings to give me a running start when I pick this project up again in August.  I love the fabrics here and can't wait to dive in again.  It's the perfect project to pick up and stitch in the evening after work.

I also signed up for Karen's screen printing class.  I was SO excited to take Karen's class as I've been a huge fan of her work for quite some time now.  She tempts me with her creations daily on that darned IG feed of hers!  We stared out with an overview of how you screen print with the stencil method and a few dos and don'ts from the master herself.

She looks like she's yelling at us here, but she's really very nice and cute!

And then we dove in, sketching cutting and taping.  To my right was the famous Hadley causing all kinds of trouble and to my right Nicky and Reene.  You know there was a bit of messing in the front row of class.  

I warn you now, that this class has taken over the creative side of my brain and I am obsessing about the next time I can screen print something/anything.  Nothing is safe in our house.  You will absolutely see me pulling out the paint and a squeegee as the summer moves on.

I brought with me a little clip art sewing machine that I could easily trace and print.  It worked relatively well, but as the printing went on I slowly lost detail like the needle.  I can just backstitch that in as I go.  I'm not worried.

The screens made by my class mates were just amazing.  There was a wonderful mix of birds, text, fruit, more traditional almost Dutch barn designs and household items.  These were the few that really caught my eye.

Really really liked the idea of printing on another print.  What a cool combo!

I lost my mind a small bit and went from my trial printing on newsprint to my little class supply tote...

And then onto my retreat goodie tote, followed by all of the Kona White scraps that I brought with me.  I don't know what came over me, but I was just delighted with the process and couldn't stop.  I will cut around the machines on the Kona White and use them in pouches, etc.  They're so darned cute!  

In the end, Karen helped me work through a stencil to print the my favorite fluffy sheep.  I just need to stock up on ink and find a sunny weekend and there will be a pile of quilt labels made with my small friend.  

Come on back later in the week and I will tell you all about my two Jen Kingwell classes.  She was AMAZING.  We even saw her famous quilts up close and personal.  There may even be a giveaway included!  Don't miss out.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ooops! I did it again.

It never fails.  When I am gathering up my goodies to go on a holiday or a fun weekend with friends, I suddenly realize there is something that I HAVE to make before I go.  Last trip it was the Alder Skirt.  This trip it is a (absolutely gorgeous must-have) tote bag.  How could I ever possibly live without it?  It would make everything that bit better, right?  I could bring all of my class supplies to the retreat in it.  And so I sew like a maniac to finish off a project before my flight takes off.  Why do I do it?   

I present to you my most recent obsession: the mahosive tote bag.  Ta da!

I took it out on my morning walk with Molly for a photo shoot.  

This was made using Judith's QAYG tote bag pattern.  I loved the colorful scrappy look of hers, but quickly realized I didn't have enough time (being a tote bag emergency and all) to QAYG the front and back panels.  I instead made two log cabin-esque panels for either side with Echino as the center focus, a Kona border, then Architextures (Curry) as the background fabric.  That piece of Echino has been held dearly in my stash for well over a year.  I've been waiting for the right project to use it in a large space to show it off.  This bag was the perfect project.

I will say, though, because I didn't QAYG (as the pattern clearly tells you to) my bag sides are a small bit squishy.  The bag can not stand up by itself.  I did quilt my side panels in 1/2 inch straight lines, but that's not enough to keep the sides rigid.  

As part of the pattern, there's a recessed zipper to close the top of the bag.  That's key if you're going to shove it under the seat in front of you on a flight.  This is my first recessed zip.  It's fine. It opens/closes and doesn't look awful, but now that I have made one I know my next one will be much better.  I used Dottie here and for the lining.

I wish I had a curry colored zip, but being totally unprepared for making this bag I had to run to the Galway shop to pick one up.  They only had browns, maroon and white.  White it is.

I was watching Sarah as she made her QAYG bag a few weeks ago and loved how hers came together.  She had added to the pattern two inner pockets, one slip pocket and one internal zip pocket.  In a bag this size, a zip pocket is an absolute must.  Sarah was such a huge help in giving me advice on placement, tutorials for the zip insertion, etc.  She's an absolute star.   This pocket is 8 inches wide, so I needed a rather large piece of fabric to make the pocket lining.  I wish I could have made it out of Architextures curry so that there's a piping effect along the zip and a fun surprise inside, but I had such a huge scrappy piece of the Dottie print I just had to use it.

And finally, for most trips I bring my ipad and travel docs slipped into a large external pocket.  I instead used a "scrap" of the Echino (12x12 inches) and made a slip pocket that will fit an A4 sheet of paper in a folder and my ipad.  Given that the external part of my bag isn't very rigid, the pocket does sag a big.  I will see how it goes for this upcoming weekend, but I think I may have to put a button on the top.  There's space, so that's easy to add in late.

That's my class supplies ready and my bag made.  If only I had clean clothes to pack and had the shop prepared!  Priorities, Cindy.  Focus.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Getting My Ducks In A Row

Goodness how time flies!  The Fat Quarterly Retreat is just around the corner and I am scrambling to get ready.  Are you?  

Most importantly I am trying to get fabric from the shop cut and made into bundles, the threads sorted an on pretty racks and scrap packs made for the Saturday evening market.  If you would like for me to hand deliver an order from Fluffy Sheep Quilting to the retreat in London, just hop over to the shop website, pile your cart full of pretties and use the discount code Presale20% at checkout.  That will give you 20% off your purchase and free shipping.  I will bring your order to registration on Friday afternoon.

Between packing up pre orders, I have been gathering together my class supplies.  The list is not short and some of the items are hard to find in Galway, so I had to start gathering pretty early on.

First up is my embroidery class.  This is the first time I have needed a Frixion pen, so I had it on my "in town" shopping list.  Much to my delight, though, someone had accidentally left one on my desk at work and hasn't returned to pick it up!

I then just had to transfer the pattern onto linen/cotton and gather together the floss I would like to use for the class.  I decided to use a white tea towel so that I had a finished, usable outcome from the class.  What I'm most worried about is making the back pretty here as it won't be hidden from view.  Help me, Jo!  Help.

I did use the Frixion pen to transfer the design.  I like that it's a fine line and temporary, but it did not transfer easily, so the lines are quite shaky and often overwritten 2 or three times before there was really a mark.  This may be because the towel is quite textured, so I won't rule out the Frixion pens just yet...

Next up is my Fabulously Fast Tile Quilt.  Here we had to cut strips from 18 of our favourite prints.  Hmm...  I had a good dig through the shop and my stash to find 18 that somewhat coordinated.

And then started cutting.  I am using Kona Snow as a background color so these prints will pop.  I am ridiculously excited to see how this quilt top comes together!  Am I delusional to think it will be finished during class?  We will see how Fabulously Fast this top is, won't we?

Next is hand quilting with Jen Kingwell.  We were asked to bring a 20 inch quilt sandwich and coordinating perle cotton.  Thankfully I had a left over block from Twinkle Twinkle and already have my perle cotton for quilting the rest of the quilt.  I framed the quilt block in two of the prints used in the stars to make it large enough, then used IKEA fabric on the back.  I hope this will be come a cushion cover to coordinate with Twinkle Twinkle so the back won't be seen.  Again, another "finish" from a class.  Brilliant.

I am just delighted that I got into Karen's screen printing class.  I have decided on the image I hope to print and thought I would like to put it on a few tote bags instead of just cotton scraps.  In the end, I would love to be able to print my own quilt labels, but that may be a bit too adventurous right now (with tiny text and all).  I whipped up two reversible totes with Riley Blake fabric on one side and Kona Ash on the other.  The Riley Blake is a bit twee as compared to my usual fabric choice, but I love these prints.  I thought using them as a lining may be perfect as they don't have to coordinate with other fabrics to fit into a quilt.  The Ash is nice and simple, so I'll print on that blank canvas.  If it's any good, the screen printed side will be what's seen.  If it's a disaster, the screen printed Ash will be the lining and no one will ever know.

Finally there's Green Tea and Sweet Beans with Jen Kingwell.  We were to choose a mix of prints and background fabrics, bringing with us F16th cuts.  I pulled out my usual saturated rainbow and a few LV prints to mix in.

Again, this pattern is not my usual style of quilting, but I think a class is a SUPER way to be exposed to new skills/techniques and ideas.  I'll give it my best try.  If appliqué is no for me, I will have a wall hanging or something that will happily live with the other minis in the shop.  Nothing lost and a whole lot gained. 

I am off to cut more fabric like a maniac.  I've never seen so many FQs in the shop.  How will they ever fit in my suitcase!?!?

Friday, July 11, 2014

We Will Try This Again

Did you happen to notice that I posted my second quarter FAL hopes and dreams list, but did not post my second quarter finishes?  That's because there were none.  No. Finishes. Last. Quarter.


Let's give this one more try, then:

1. Swoon (from the Swoon Along 2013 *ahem*)

The Swoon top is finished.  It was sent to the long arm quilter at the end of April and there it sat.  It's only now that we're swapping sketches of how it may be quilted.  If there's not a stitch in this quilt by the end of this month I'm taking it back.  Seriously.  

2. Twinkle Twinkle

When you last saw this quilt it was layered in a hotel lobby.  I decided to hand quilt it, echo quilting inside each star.  The stars are now finished and I am working on the square/diamond pattern between each star block.  I have been struggling trying to decide what color to use in the square/diamond quilting so that was a bit of a delay.  I am sorted out  now and back to stitching happily.

3. Medallion

I have been testing out blocks for my last medallion quilt border.  I have created a LONG list of border blocks I do not like. 

 Most importantly, though, I have found one that I do!  I just need to get to stitching and I can finish off the final 6.5 inch border of cross stitch blocks, followed by two quick and easy thin borders to finish this top off.

Not a great photo - it's inside on the design wall.  You get the idea....

I am not convinced that this will be finished this quarter - I am thinking of hand quilting it, which would mean it will be finished by the 3rd quarter of 2015.  

4. Big Stitch Swap Mini
I can not show you much of this super top secret sewing project, but it involves this:

and some of these:

Fingers crossed that I finished something (anything!) on the list this quarter.  Oh, how I'd love a finish sometime soon.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Label Cloud

241 tote all heart appeal antique applique apron art quilt aurifil award baby quilt back background bag basket batik bee Bee Blessed Big Stitch Swap bird's nest birdie stitches birthday blankets of love block blog blogaversary blogger bundle bloglovin' BOM book brit bee brooch bundle bunting business card holder camping cathedral window chain piecing chaos charm pack charm squares charm swap chickens Christmas class clothes color commission community community quilt contest craft craft fair cross cross stitch Cúchulainn cushion design wall diaper Do.Good Stitches donation double wedding ring drawing dress eclipse election electronica embroicery embroidery eraser stamp exhibit fab fabric fabric tape facebook FAL farmers journal fat eight fat quarter fat quarterly feature festival of quilts film finish finish along flag flickr flying geese FMQ FNSI frame Free Motion Friday free motion quilting friends fugly Galway Galway Now gift giveaway goal goals goodie goodie swap granny mania granny squares graph guest blog guild hand puppet hand quilting hand sewing happy hat help hexagons hey girl hospital hot pad HST I Spy ICA improv innovation award inspiration interview invitation ipad ipad cover IPS IQFOI Irish chain Japanese key fob kind stitches knit knitting knitting and stitching kona lattice illusions laugh launch learning lecture Liberty linky list little star loops love on the blocks LQS Day magazine market medallion mennonite miniquilt mixer cover mod logs Mod Pop QAL modern blocks Modern Irish Bee modern irish quilters modern quilt guild modern quilt guild bee modern stitching Modern Stitching Bee monster mouthy stitches mug rug mural name name game name tag napkin needle book new york beauty newsletter Nieve notebook cover overlocker panel paper piecing patchwork pattern Pay it forward Peace Valley peanut butter perle cotton pezzy pizazz photograph PIF pillow pillowcase dress pin cushion pinwheel PJ placemat podcast polka dot pom pom portholes post pouch precut puffy pouch puppy purse QAL quilt quilt exhibit quilt frame quilt top quilter in the gap quilting Rainbow Charm Swap research retreat retroflower review sale sampler scarf science scrap scraps screen printing seams selvage sew and bee happy Sew Bee Blissful sewing machine sewing room shop significant sizzix sketch skirt solid spools stall stand star stargazing start your own stitched in color string stuffed super tote surprise swap swoon tablerunner teaching text thumb tack tiles top tote toy travel tree skirt tumbler tutorial twinkle twinkle twitter video vote walk wallet website win WIP wonky house yarn youtube zip

Total Number of Page Views