Monthly Archives: July, 2013

Article for France Patchwork

Way back in January, RR and I headed off on holiday to Japan, and of course we had to visit the Tokyo International Quilt Festival while we were there. Just before we left, my friend Patricia had asked me to write an article and provide some photos about the quilt show to put on the blog of the Swiss delegation of France Patchwork. In French, no less! Well, I like a challenge, so I was more than happy to oblige ūüôā

Anyway, I’m so excited and totally chuffed that the first part of my article has been published on their blog today! The whole article, along with photos by the lovely RR, will appear in five installments, from now until 26th July, so head on over and take a look. Even if you don’t speak French! And if you do speak French, please look on any mistakes as giving the article a certain je-ne-sais-quoi rather than a glaring example of my Englishness …

In the meantime, I’m back to the sewing machine. Happy Friday and bon weekend to you all ūüôā

Working hard

Well, it’s been a busy old week quilting-wise. As RR so eloquently puts it, I’ve been in a bit of a quilting frenzy of late! After finally finding the finishing kit for my Block of the Month quilt (in a padlocked box at the bottom of a dark drawer marked ‘Beware of the Leopard’…), I’ve been mainly working on getting the quilt top put together, and I’m happy to say that I’m nearly done! The 2 wrong-sized blocks have been fixed, and another was taken apart and re-pieced when I noticed I’d accidentally sewn the the fussy-cut middle square in sideways (I could have just left it as it was, pretending it was a design choice, but I knew it would just bug me, so out came my trusty seam ripper again!)

So, once I was happy with my 12 blocks, it was time to open¬†the finishing kit. I read the 18 page (!) instruction book for piecing the sashing and borders, and set to with my rotary cutter and various rulers. At the end of an afternoon’s hard work, with¬†Mimi Bubba’s’¬†help’ ,¬†I’d cut all the pieces I needed to complete the quilt top…

Helpful Mimi     Finishing kit cut

… and found that the Fat Quarter Shop weren’t exactly stingy with the fabric! Having frugally saved all the remnants of fabric from each month’s kit, I was left with all this!


I’m thinking maybe¬†I’ll use it to make the Granny Square quilt on Blue Elephant Stitches’ blog. Well, waste not want not and all that ūüôā

So now the quilt top is almost finished, all I need to do is add the middle and outer borders. It’s turned out really nicely, I think, although it’ll be even prettier when I add the final borders…

Almost finished

Then of course the tricky part, deciding how to quilt it. But let’s just leave that for another day, shall we?

Linking up here to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Now where did I put that fabric?

After finally completing the last of my blocks for the 2012 Designer Mystery Block of the Month last week, I was on a¬†roll and¬†felt inspired to¬†actually put them all together and¬†finish the entire quilt top. Which led to a teeny tiny problem – where on earth was the finishing kit I had ordered? It had been shipped with Block 1 in June last year, and after cooing over the fabric, I duly put it somewhere safe until all the blocks were done and I was ready to get finishing. Somewhere very safe, evidently. I looked everywhere safe I could think of, but it was nowhere to be found…

Now, procrastination being my middle name, the temptation to go and have a nice cup of tea, forget the blasted finishing kit, and start a new project instead was overwhelming. But my 12 squared up blocks all looked so pretty…

2012 mystery BOTM

… that I decided to take the bull by the horns and scour my sewing room for the missing fabric. Which wasn’t the easiest of tasks.¬† There were stacks of fabric everywhere (courtesy of a shopping expedition or two in England the other week, and some judicious internet shopping shipped to friends¬†that RR picked up when he was in New York at the start of June…), patterns in piles on my desk, a scraps bin bursting at the seams¬†(and an overflow scraps bag to boot), different projects in various stages of completion cluttering up my cutting table – well, suffice to say, it was time for a much-needed yet frequently-postponed full-scale tidy-up.

Actually, I’m always surprised to realise that¬†sewing room tidy-ups are never as bad as I think they’re going to be. Once I’ve embraced my inner de-clutterer, and gone into a clearing up and cleaning frenzy,¬†they can sometimes even be pleasurable. And so it was this time round. I¬†went through my piles of¬†fabric that needed putting away, sorted out a brand new home for all my dressmaking fabric, found 3 projects I’d forgotten all about, and started to¬†mull over¬†what I’m going to use various fabrics in my stash¬†for. All my threads have been put away into the thread rack in my¬†sewing machine cabinet, drawers in my cutting table have been¬†designated for pre-cuts (now beautifully stacked, rather than thrown in any-old-how), space in the bookcase has been liberated for my latest purchases, and my¬†fabric cupboard is now tidy once more.

289 294

And¬†to top it all, I even found the finishing kit! (in the drawer, top right…)

290 292

I love the smug, deeply domesticated¬†feeling I get when everything is neatly folded and put away, and calm and tidiness reigns ūüôā¬†¬†The only problem now is that I’ve run out of places to put stuff. What I really need is more room.¬†I’m already using every spare square inch of space available in my sewing room. I find myself looking jealously at the huge possibilities of annexing the¬†spare bedroom¬†too. Now, I wonder¬†how on earth¬†I can convince RR that we don’t really need a guest room after all…

Back to the machine :-)

It’s Wednesday already, and I’m finally¬†back at the sewing machine after a few days of catching up on post-England laundry, housework, emails, and sleep. It’s grey and drizzly here in Lausanne at the moment, so an ideal day to shut myself away in my sewing room and get creating!

But what to sew??? I have to admit I’m a bit of an ADD quilter –¬†I’m constantly¬†starting new projects, before getting distracted by something else newer or prettier. At the last count I had 17 projects on the go, not including projects that are neatly stacked in the cupboard waiting to be quilted, and those¬†I have the fabric for and can’t wait to get started on. Oops! So it seems reasonable to try at least to finish some of them off before I get cracking with something new, tempting as it may be…

With this in mind, I’ve decided to link up to Freshly¬†Pieced’s¬†WIP Wednesday, in the hope it will keep me motivated and focussed on my many works in progress, rather than flitting like a quilting butterfly from one new project to the next. And the first thing I’ve decided to work on is my Designer Mystery Block of the Month quilt from The Fat Quarter Shop. The kit for the final block for¬†2012’s quilt¬†arrived back in May, and while I was in England, Block 1 of the 2013 Mystery Quilt plopped into my mailbox. So, tempted as I was to¬†jump right in with¬†the new one, I thought it better¬†to finish the old one first.

So I set to work cutting, piecing and pressing, and after a few hurrying-because-I-just-want-to-get-this-finished-now-and-start-the-next-thing¬†related mishaps (cutting the wrong size squares for the pinwheel blocks, sewing the flying geese on upside down…), I eventually produced this…

FQS BOTM Month 12


And with all 12 blocks completed, I did a little squaring up…

Squaring up

… and realised that one block was almost¬†1/4″ too big all the way round, and one block was almost 1/4″ too small all the way round. Grrrrrrrr!!!

But as I squared them up, something bizarre happened.¬†I realised that I actually want to get this quilt top put together more than I want to start the next one. So, rather than putting the offending blocks back in¬†their storage box, to¬†be fixed later – i.e. almost certainly never – I’ve decided to strike while the iron’s hot, and¬†deal with them right now. Today. This afternoon in fact! Oh yes! After which¬†I can surely justify sewing a few strips together for that table runner I’ve been wanting to make for the past month. Can’t I???