Tuesday, 31 March 2015

My week on Instagram

This week on Instagram was dominated by my trip down South so visit the offices of Makower UK and to go on a Kaffe Fassett workshop.  Each of those trips would benefit from a longer post at a later date but on the left below is the central space in the Makower offices where design meetings take place and I had the fun of sitting in with all the lovely Makower people and discussing the direction of a number of gorgeous upcoming fabric lines.

Then the following day, I fulfilled a long held dream of going on a Kaffe Fassett workshop.  I was pretty nervous but I cannot recommend his workshops highly enough.  He was warm, generous, positive and encouraging to every single one of us and I learned a huge amount in one short day about using colour and mixing fabrics together.

Back to earth with a bump and the arrival of this month's Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine over the weekend with three of my projects in.  The first was this dresden quilt using Cuckoo's Calling by Dashwood Studio.

The second was a quilt made using Daysail by Bonnie & Camille for Moda.

And the third was my monthly BOM which as always uses Mimosa by Windham Fabrics and is beautifully styled by the team at the magazine.

And finally my four favourite projects in this month's issue were made by the wonder Sew Ichicigo team of Kerry Very Kerry Berry and Penny Sew Take A Hike, Elizabeth Don't Call Me Betsy, Megan from Quilt Story and Fiona from Patchwork Delights.

Five year blogaversary, fresh sewing day and small blog meet.

Well on the first of April five years ago, I quietly and meekly started a quilting blog with no idea that quilting and blogging would turn from being my hobby into my job.  It is the best job in the world, I love every moment of it and thank you to each and every one of you who have supported me along the way.   But back to the business in hand, on the first of every month, here at Lily's Quilts, we have a linky party to show off anything you've made or worked on (or even fabric you've bought) during the previous month.  There is a second linky party to help small blogs meet and connect with other blogs.  You'll find a few new blogs to follow and hopefully build up the network around your blog and gain some new followers too.  This month, I have worked on all sorts of things but my favourite photo of the month has to be this block where Elizabeth (from the Elizabeth line by Tula Pink for Westminster Fabrics) peeks out from under her umbrella.

And what about you?  What have you worked on this month?  Any finishes?  Maybe a mosaic of everything you've been doing?  One favourite thing?  Link up at the bottom of this post to share what you've been working on. If you do link up, how about visiting at least four of the other blogs who link up - two above you and two below you - and stopping to leave a comment as well as visiting back anyone who visits you.  As always here's the button to grab - a brand shiny new one this month to reflect the new blog header!
Fresh Sewing Day

And link up in the second linky if you are a blog with fewer than 50 followers and would like to get to know a few more people out there in blogland. Write a post about this feature, add this button and then link up.  Next go and visit and get to know at least four other linked blogs - starting with the two above you in the linkys and the two below you. Visit those blogs, leave a comment, click to follow and visit that blog regularly over the next few weeks. Visit more if you have the time. And also visit back any new bloggers who come to visit you and get to know them and their blogs.
Small Blog Meet



Monday, 30 March 2015

Sew Organized for the Busy Girl blog hop and giveaway

So I am the lucky one to be kicking off the blog hop for Heidi Staples' wonderful new book, Sew Organized for the Busy Girl and giving away three copies of the book at the end of this post.  The rest of the stops along the tour are also listed at the bottom of this post.

This book is all about helping you to organise yourself so make time to sew and to fit sewing into your life and is beautifully styled with a real retro feel.

There are tips all about organising your sewing space, your fabric, your sewing supplies, your projects, as well as including a lovely list of projects to make to help you get and stay organised and to brighten up your sewing space.

There are also tips from other busy sewers (sewists?!) around the world, including a couple of little tips from me about how I stay (relatively) organised.

For your chance to win a copy of the book, just leave a comment on this post and a winner will be drawn a week from today!  The rest of the stops on the tour are listed below:

April 6 - Jodi of Tales of Cloth & Angela of Cut to Pieces
April 13 - Lindsay of Craft Buds & Debbie of A Quilter's Table
April 20 - Leanne of She Can Quilt
April 27 - Fat Quarter Shop
May 4 - Erin of Why Not Sew?
May 11 - Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts
May 18 - Svetlana of SOTAK Handmade
May 25 - Lucy of Charm About You
June 1 - Maureen of Maureen Cracknell Handmade
June 8 - Becca of Bryan House Quilts
June 15 - Beth of Plum & June
June 22 - Jessica of Quilty Habit
June 29 - Caroline of Sew Can She
July 6 - Heidi of Fabric Mutt (Tour Wrap!)

Friday, 27 March 2015

Fabric Friday

Some weeks there is nothing much new on the fabric front and some weeks there is so much that I feel a little overwhelmed.  And lucky.  And I love my job.  The first arrival this week was Elizabeth by Tula Pink for Westminster.

The second was Folk Song by Anna Maria Horner again for Westminster.

And the third was Skopelos by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics.

So it will probably be a very long time before another week like this comes along!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Sponsor News

Fort Worth Fabric Studio have 30% off 30% off all Moda Somerset with code somerset30 (includes yardage, Tea Towel Kits, Jelly Rolls, Patterns, and Aurifil Thread Kits).   Good through April 2.  They have also introduced new international shipping rates (first class options) for smaller orders up to 4 yards and you can find out more information about that here.

Plush Addict have just got Nomad from Moda new in stock which has Aztec geometrics and enchanting feathers floating in the wind, and the serene colour palette gives these fabrics such a calming and tranquil feel.

Deborah Kemball's beautiful pillows show how Oakshott Fabrics' new Scandinavia collection can provide the ideal background fabric to set off the colours of any design.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Tip of the day

Each week on a Wednesday I'm going to post a little tip from that week's sewing.  If you have any tips you'd like to share with me, please get in touch and we can have a little guest post action going on here on a Wednesday.  It's always a nice chance to share you knowledge and link a few more people back to your blog.  Email me on lilysquilts@gmail.com if you're interested!

So this week I've been paper piecing and I know many people find the whole process of removing the paper a fussy and fiddly experience so here are my tips:

1.    Ordinary printer paper works fine, you do not need expensive dedicated FPP paper.

2.    Avoid crossing sewing lines where possible - take each line right up to the next one without them crossing - this avoids those tiny little pieces of paper caught in a junction.

3.     Keep your stitches short - around 1.5 - this makes tearing the paper away at the end much easier.

4.   Sew in the day and remove the paper in the evening in front of the tv - even if you have a huge pile of papers to remove, you will be too busy concentrating on the tv to find the job a chore.

5.   And finally, my toppest tip of all in this regard - remove the papers in reverse order i.e. go from the highest number down to 1.  That way, you're never removing papers with funny L shaped corners, every piece will be just a straight fold and tear.

If you have any foundation paper piecing tips, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

My week on Instagram

This week on Instagram has been all about my work with Makower UK, a UK fabric company who works alongside Andover in the US.  Makower sent me a lovely big bundle of this year's Christmas lines.  I am a sucker for Christmas lines and a sucker for Christmas panels so these bundles will be saved until December.  The first set of bundles is Christmas prints.

And the second set is Christmas panels to make stockings, advent calendars and Christmas bunting.  

This magazine came through the post yesterday - it's the latest issue of British Patchwork and Quilting with my Makower Juicy table runner on the front page.  It was made for Makower from a new line of theirs which has a real kitchen and cooking feel with apples, pears, peppers and cherries all over it.

And finally, I've been designed a new quilt for Makower with their upcoming Sophia line which is full of soft dusky pinks and teals with some lovely large scale prints as well as some great little dots and weaves.

Monday, 23 March 2015

What I'm working on

Each week, I'm going to post little snippets of what I've been working on during that week.  First up this week is one of the future months of the BOM for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  I'm now on the last two blocks for the year and the next step will be to get back all the blocks and make them into the quilt but it will be a few months before I get my blocks back to get on with that.  In the meantime, it's another month of fussy fiddly paper piecing - perfect for anyone who loves foundation paper piecing or who would like to give it a try for the first time!

Monday sneak peek

I'm thinking of adding a little Monday morning sneak peek to the blog every week showing what I'm working on right now.  Today, I'm working on one of the future month's BOMs for Love Patchwork and Quilting.  Each month there's a main block and a bonus variation block.  There has been a lot of foundation paper piecing in this BOM and this month is no exception.  These geese are pretty small so foundation paper piecing is the only way to get that really accurate crisp finish.  I design the blocks and draw up the templates in Touchdraw which is an app for iPad and mac.  So what are you working on this week?