Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Quilter's Bible


Now, if you're going to call a book a 'Bible' that really means you're going to have to encompass everything under the sun to do with that subject. Does this book do this?

Yes!

The Quilter's Bible by Linda Clements is an indispensable guide to everything quilty and quilty related, including patchwork and appliqué.

As of today, it has 184 reviews on Amazon, 159 of which are 5* and 17 are 4*.

The back of the book tells you it has a retail price of £19.99 but you can get it on Amazon for £7.00! A real bargain, considering the amount of information this book contains.

There are over 220 techniques in this book with clear step-by-step instructions, perfect for a beginner to understand.



Over 800 colour photographs, feature instructions and templates for 13 projects including bags, cushions, wall hangings and placemats.

There are guidelines are instructions for English Paper Piecing, scrap blocks, Seminole, Bargello, string patchwork, foundation piecing, hand piecing, needle turn appliqué, 3-D appliqué, Hawaiian appliqué, Sashiko, Kantha quilting, corded, quilting and much, much more!




I dip into this book most days for inspiration and I think you will, too. At the moment it's at a bargain price for 256 pages of information for beginner quilters through to those with more experience.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Grid Technique

So yesterday, I discovered a new technique as described by the marvellous Paula Doyle

Paula advocates a grid technique using one and a half inch squares, so that by the time you've sewn them together, they emerge as one inch squares.


Using a grid (which I didn't have, I just made sure I cut my squares perfectly) you lay your one and a half inch squares in rows onto iron on fusible interfacing, leaving a tiny gap between each square. Once ironed on and you have the sized piece you want (I did 8 rows by 10 rows) you fold your first row, right sides together and sew down it.

After that, you sew every other row, turn it upside down and then do all the rows you've missed on that vertical section. When done, you use sharp scissors to cut the interfacing down the seams so that you can iron the seams open. Then you do the same thing again crossways to the other rows.




Repeat the steps of cutting the interfacing until all your seams lay flat and then press. When you turn it over, beautifully matched squares, perfectly aligned!



I was so thrilled this worked out! I love learning a new technique and this 8 x 10 piece will to towards something special I'm making for a competition!

So why don't you tell me about a new technique that you might have learned lately? I'd love to hear about it!



Friday, 29 August 2014

My Creative Space

We're all guilty of it, aren't we? Letting our crafting workspace become an absolute tip? We promise ourselves that next time we'll tidy up a bit, but when the next time comes along, we just want to sew and quilt and be creative not tackle that mess we've produced as an additional worry.

Besides, if you're anything like me, you already spend most of your spare time doing housework, why add to the list?

I'll tell you why.

I know someone who makes cards. She's really good at it, she's got all the card stock and notions and die cuts and embellishments. She's got all the tools, the glue guns, the stamps and the inks. She's got all the glitter and sequins and feathers and buttons. Everything. The cards she can make are beautiful.

But! She never clears up her mess from making the previous card and so each time she wants to make a new card, she just pushes everything back and works in a tiny space. The mess has become so huge, so uncontrollable, it's easier for her to just leave it, work in a tiny space and hope for the best. Never mind that underneath that pile of junk, there may be something special or a tool she might really need. She feels restrained by that mess. Overwhelmed by it.

I offered to help her clear it, but I think she was too embarrassed. So, I've told her, when she's ready, I'm there for her...

So what has this to do with me? Well, I was heading the same way. I kept shoving things to the back of my machine, draping fabric over every available surface, leaving fabric scraps and thread cuttings all over the floor and two things happened.



A friend on Facebook told us all the sad story about having to have her puppy put down because he'd swallowed fabric scraps and it had somehow ruined his gut. And the second was hearing of another quilter who would allocate herself five minutes after every sewing session to tidy up after herself. Even if she didn't tidy the whole thing away, she gave herself five minutes to control her space.

I have dogs. And cats. They frequently make it into my sewing room, settle on their beds and snooze away as I work. I didn't want the same thing to happen to them and I didn't want to be like my card maker friend and have a tiny space in which to work. 

So I started tidying. Five minutes after every session and you know what? I caught up. I unearthed a few treasures. I found fabric I'd forgotten I had.

I had a usable workspace!



Now I tidy after every session. I make sure pattern templates are stored away properly, I make notions are put back in their pots, I have a mini Hoover to quickly pick up any missed threads I might have dropped and my workspace, my room has become a more enjoyable space to be in. I feel more creative because of it. I look forward to going in my room even more.

So what about you? How is your workspace? Do you tidy after every session? Or do you prefer the hoarder look?

Let me know. I'd love to hear your take on it!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Making my pot holder/coaster

So you know how as a quilter you make lots of things for other people because you hope they'll 'ooh!' and 'aah!' over them, hoping they'll also appreciate how much work you've put into their gift and love it just that bit more because it's handmade and made with love?

Well, sometimes, for me, this means I never get round to making stuff for me!

For over a year now, when I've sat at my sewing machine and had a nice cup of tea, I've put the cup down on my desk and then mumbled and grumbled every time I've had to clean up the mug ring afterwards.

I needed a coaster (or pot holder, whichever you wish to call it!)

I kept putting this task off, thinking I had all the time in the world to do it, but never quite getting round to it, until today! Today I picked up my copy of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and in it was a pattern and design for a coaster!

Taking this as a sign, I began work! Here are a couple of photos taken of work in progress, 





And I finally have a beautiful coaster on my desk. I made something for me. What have you made lately that has just been for you?


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Road 15

So, a long time ago now, I joined a group on Facebook that was going to be doing a Block of the Month (BOM) challenge. To be in it, all you had to do was buy yourself a single charm pack of 42 squares and that would last you the year.

Great! So I hunted around for a pretty charm pack and came across the Road 15 charm pack, by Sweetwater for Moda.

It was beautiful. So beautiful, I both couldn't wait to use it, but also couldn't bear to cut into it either! When the BOM began and I realised how I was being asked to chop up the squares, I just knew I couldn't do it.

Road 15 was too pretty. I loved Every. Single. Piece. So I kept it in my stash and looked for a pattern that would suit it, that wouldn't waste too much of the perfect fabric, but would show it off to its full.

And I found one!

It was a brick wall design and the theme of it, fit into the prints perfectly! Here is my take on it:



All I had to do was slice each charm in half and sew it together. No wastage. All I lost was my quarter inch seam allowance. The negative white space looks like cement, of course and all I've got to do now is work out how I want to quilt it.

Do I stick to the simple Stitch in the Ditch? Should I try to free motion quilt mini brick walls throughout the 'cement'?

What do you think? I'd really love to hear your ideas.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Foldy Rolly Patchwork Pzzazz

So, today, I'm doing a book review of Foldy Rolly Patchwork Pzzazz. Yes, that really is it's title!



Jennie has created a book full of wonderful colour pictures and fabulous clear instructions. From the start of the book, through all of it's 112 pages, you get little gems of advice and nuggets of information, as well as related tales and travel troubles that Jennie overcame on her various trips around the globe.

I bought this book from Jennie at the National Quilt Championships and got it signed (yay!) so this is a book that I will treasure, but what about everyone else?

Yes, I believe you will treasure it too.

There is so much covered in this book, from colour choices, block styles and fabric manipulation, through to mitred binding, Suffolk puffs, tote making, quilts, quags (quilt that turns into a bag), sashing, scalloped borders and border corners along with fabric requirements, notions and stitching types.

The book costs £14.75 in the UK and as of this moment has 28 5* reviews already. This book has a wealth of creativity within and I'd urge any quilter to get it.

Jennie has a website at www.jennierayment.com where you can find out more about her and her work.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Beginning of an Adventure!

Hello and a very warm welcome to Hayling Quilts! My name is Louisa and I live on a very small island just off the south coast of Hampshire, UK, and I love to quilt!





This blog is to share my journey and adventures through the works of quilting and sewing and patchwork. As I try to build my sales on Ebay and Etsy

Also, I will be showing works in progress, completing product reviews and posting pictures of work and events that I manage to visit, such as The Festival of Quilts or the National Quilt Championships


Also I hope to be answering any questions you may have and interacting with my followers. I don't claim to be an expert, just an enthusiastic amateur! I do hope you'll join me and follow me and above all, leave comments and ask questions.

So, what am I working on at the minute? 

I am currently hard at work on completing a cover for my sewing machine in the shape of a caravan! I bought the pattern for this off Etsy, from a shop called Rainbow Hare. It's beautiful and I love it! So far, I've made up the individual panels, quilted them and sewn on the windows and doors using an invisible thread. At first, I didn't like handling the invisible thread. It was springy and hard to handle, but by the time I'd sewn the first window down, I'd gotten used to it and quite liked the effect of not being able to see the tiny stitches.

Next stage is to piece the caravan body together. I'll post pictures of my completed version in the next blog post.




I am taking orders for these and custom making them on Etsy. (Link above goes direct to my shop. The price is currently a very low £45 for UK peeps. They'd make perfect Christmas presents, I think and aren't just for sewing machines! I think they could easily cover some of the larger kitchen machines, like juicers and blenders and mixers.

Why don't you post me a picture of your current project? Or, tell me about it in the comments? I'd love to see. I'm a true believer that in the crafting world, we can all learn so much from each other and be inspired in so many different ways.  Perhaps you have a crafting blog you'd like me to follow or review? Do let me know. I'd really like this blog to be as interactive as it can possibly be.

Until next time!

You can follow me on Twitter at @louisaheaton