Saturday, 20 September 2014

National Sewing and Quilting Month

And so it is my turn to celebrate National Sewing and Quilting month with Fat Quarter Shop.  

Each participant in the blog tour will be answering the following questions.  

1.       How did you start quilting/sewing?

I've sewn all my life - or as long as I can remember - and started quilting about five years ago.  I'd always loved what we in the UK call American quilts but got going when a friend in my village showed me the beautiful modern quilts she was making.  I started making quilts right away and haven't stopped for breath yet.  For my pieced heart (below) I chose "I need all the fabrics" because it is the constant stream of beautiful new fabric lines that keep me inspired to make more and more quilts.  

2.       When was the first time you knew that you were a quilter/sewer?

I think it took me about a month to realise that the obsession with quilting was not going to go away any time soon, if ever.  I was hooked from day one. 

3.       Do you have any sewing/quilting horror stories or faux pas?

I think my favourite story was from a swap I was participating in.  I studied my partner's tastes and choices carefully and made a Gee's Bend inspired mini quilt for her.  After about three months I'd heard nothing so emailed her to find out if she liked the quilt I'd sent.  She said she hadn't opened the package because she'd been too busy.  I asked her to return the package to me and she did.  I think that was the oddest and rudest incident I've encountered in what is otherwise the most supportive community I know.  

4.       What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in sewing/quilting?

I'd say perfection is overrated.  So many quilters I've come across agonise over missed points and small imperfections which no-one but the maker will ever notice and aren't in the least important in the scheme of life.  Remember the quilter's rule of thumb - if you can't see the mistake when driving past the quilt at 30mph, then it's not worth unpicking.  This is a rule I live by.   

And if you'd like to make your own pieced heart, as in the above image, you can find the "Color My Heart" Quilt patter by clicking on this link here.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

And the winner is ...

And the winner of the Beyond Neutral giveaway is ...

... chosen by random number generator ... 

... and is ... 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Superior Titanium Topstitch Needles

For a while now I have only been using Superior Titanium topstitch needles.  I tend to continue to use the same needle or needles until I come across issues suggesting that the needle needs replacing.  That tends to be when I start to skip stitches or the thread starts to break while I'm sewing.  Because Superior's needles are titanium tipped, the point of the needle stays sharper much much longer which means I replace my needles much much less often.

Superior's own tests show that the tips of their needles stay sharper almost fives times as long as needles which are not titanium tipped.  Although these needles cost approximately twice as much as other brands of needle, they last nearly five times longer so definitely make economic sense.  Clicking on the image below will take you to the page on the Superior website which explains this in more detail.

You can order them for worldwide delivery direct from Superior Threads.  If you are a stockist or know of other stockists in your country, please leave a comment for me below so that I can update the post.  And if your local quilt shop doesn't stock them, go in and demand that they do! 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

And the Oakshott giveaway winner is ...

And the winner of the Oakshott autumn 21 FQ bundle giveaway ...

 ... has been chosen by random number generator ...

... and is ... 

Congratulations Diane! 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Beyond Neutral Blog Hop

Today it is my spot on the Beyond Neutral blog hop.  Beyond Neutral is written by JohnAdams who you may also know as Quiltdad.  One of the founder members of Fat Quarterly, I worked with John both on the magazine and at the first two Fat Quarterly retreats and he really is one of the nicest, kindest and funniest men.

I've also been a big fan of his work right from the start of my quilting a few years ago.  He tends to use very interesting palettes, steering clear of boring old black and white for his backgrounds and combines a strength in improve piecing and placement with innovative use of empty space in his quilts and the quilts in the book reflect all of those.  

The quilts all use natural neutrals, inspired by nature, as the background colour, rather than black or white.  The quilt designs steer away from traditional quilt block patterns and are much bolder and more striking as a result. 

The quilts are also beautiful photographed out in the fresh air which really brings the palettes to life.  (Photographs by Brent Kane and courtesy of Marintgale).  

If you would like to win an e-copy of the book, leave a comment below and a winner will be picked a week from today.