Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Material Goods...

I haven't mentioned it here yet, but over the past year or so, a friend and I were tentatively trying to set up a business selling fabric, called Material Goods.  Unfortunately it didn't work out, due to a couple of things - other work commitments, transport, all sorts.  I'm still glad we did it, since I learned an awful lot from the experience.

The only problem is all this fabric stock still sitting in my workroom.  Piles and piles of beautiful quilting fabric.  I know, I have the worst problems, don't I?

But we do need to sell as much of it as we can to recoup our costs, so now we're preparing for our big closing down sale, which today has meant packaging up some scrap bags and peg doll kits.

The scrap bags and everything else are also in our online shop, which you can find here, but the Peg Doll kits are only available at our sale - so if you happen to be in West Yorkshire on that day, please do pop along and say hello!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

68 Days to Christmas...

This week I have wrenched myself away from the scrappy strings and squares at last.  I'd made a significant dent in my scrap box and besides, it isn't as if I don't have other things that need getting on with.

One of the most guilt-inducing is this one - a dollies quilt for Ella, the daughter of a very good friend.  I'd promised to make one and suggested it might be ready for Christmas… last Christmas.  I KNOW.

But I am making good progress at last, thanks mostly to my extremely helpful cat Emma.  At least, she thinks so...
"Get on with it, Monkey Butler."

And now at least I have all my blocks finished, if not yet framed, embroidered with faces and buttons, or arranged in order.  The block was originally based on one by Sarah Fielke in her quilt "The 'Burbs" from Material Obsession, but as you can see it's evolved a bit from there...

Here are closeups of a few of the dolls I'm most proud of:

Ms Pink Hair likes knitting, punk rock, and hair dye.

Ms Sari likes thunderstorms, chocolate and cats.

Ms Ballet Dancer likes classical music, foot rubs and smelly cheese.
(ohhh, she was a headache!  But Ella is a fab ballet dancer so I knew I had to put one in)

Ms Kimono likes horror films, spicy curry and bubble baths.

You'll be seeing more of this once I get all the buttons, faces, jewellery and the rest sewn on.  Surely the end is in sight within the next 68 days?  See you next week!

Friday, 11 October 2013

The things I do...

Yes, I have been ironing the brown paper that came in my last Amazon parcel.  It's the sort of thing that makes you really wonder where your marbles went, although I did have a very good reason - it makes great foundation-piecing paper.

I have been obsessing (as readers will know) over scrap quilts lately, and it is a fact that not all scraps are quite 2.5" wide and suitable to be made into squares, so I needed something to use up strips.  I stumbled upon Film In The Fridge's "Kaleidoscope Quilt"and BOOM - the search was over.

I love how the little diamond shaped white frames give structure to the quilt, and the blocks are so easy they rapidly become addictive.  There are some very treasured scraps in there, mixed in with bits of old shirts, and a helpful quantity of "scrap rolls" from any number of online fabric shops.  Looking at them all gives me properly warm feelings, which is what this quilting business is all about, I think.  Of course you do have to tear the paper off afterwards, which could be a bit of a chore... luckily I have a very useful helper for that bit.  I knew he was good for something.

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P.S. That girl's quilt I mentioned last week is in the shop, at last!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Wouldn't you know it...

Well, I phoned up the Sewing Machine fellow on Thursday, and very helpful he was too.  We had my machine humming along brilliantly again in no time.

Then of course, 1/2 hour after I put the phone down, my stitches started skipping again...  ARGH!

I haven't had a chance to ring back (I feel a bit embarrassed, too, if I'm honest) but I've managed to wrangle my girlish scrap quilt without using the walking foot, and if some swearing was involved, at least there are no skips.  Houpla!

As soon as the back of the binding is sewn, it'll be ready for the shop.  Did I mention I had a shop?  I'll have to put it in the sidebar linkies.

Thanks to the frustrations of my machine, I've also been up to a spot of hand-sewing lately.  I have a grand project that uses up my smaller scraps, and I call it The Hexagon Project.  It's brilliant on the train - it practically guarantees you a seat all to yourself for some reason.  Here are this week's contributions:

Those hexagons are all about 1 1/4 " in size, so they use up pretty much anything.  One day, I will sew ALL these lozenges together and make a bedcover for our spare room.  How long do you reckon it'll take?  20 years?  Ah well, it keeps me out of trouble!