Saturday, 30 March 2013

Insane Geese Posse Templates!

I have been asked by several people now if they could have the templates for my Insane Geese Posse mini quilt.  I have finally decided to say "Yes!" to that and make them available for free on my blog.

If you click on the link here you should be able to download the PDF.  

This is NOT a pattern!  I have provided no instructions, fabric calculations or anything.  It is just the templates needed to make the quilt.  You should have a basic knowledge of quilting and Foundation Paper Piecing.

If you make this quilt all I ask is that you give me credit and that you post pictures to the Flickr group here.

Thanks for visiting and happy quilting!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Doll Quilt Swap Received!

As promised, this post is about the fab little quilt I received from the Doll Quilt Swap.  It was made by Teri Emerson, she goes by the name Craktpot on Flickr,  and you can see her stuff here and here.  I watched this quilt being made from start to finish in the group photos and it was one of only three or four that I really wanted.  I was so happy it came to me I shouted "I win!" when I opened the package!

Now how cool it THAT???  She got my love of bright colours and curved flying geese spot on!  I'm really impressed with the amount of planning and thought that went into it.  You can see some of the in progress pictures in her photostream here.  She even pieced the back!

Teri also sent along some fab goodies. 

Fabric is always good, biscuits are better, but the bag and little yo-yo's blew me away!  The bag is huge and has loads of pouches and zippered compartments inside.  She said she made it to rest out a pattern and I think it came out perfectly.  I'm not really a "man-bag" sort of guy but this will be perfect for when we go on holiday to Cyprus in a few weeks.  Thanks sooooooooo much Teri!  

Here's a close up of the yo-yo's...

She said they are made by a local disabled lady who sells them for some extra money since she can't work.  Apparently she was very excited about them going abroad to England.  Bless!

One last close up of quilty goodness?  Yes, please!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Doll Quilt Swap

More catch up today!  My first swap of the year (and third one I've ever done) was the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr.  Size limit on this was 20" square and I went for 16" square.  I knew my partner liked New York Beauty blocks and Denise Schmidt fabrics.  Brioni was kind enough to let me use her Fairview Chicopee with some others by Denise thrown in to give me some variety.  

Next I needed to find a pattern.  I trawled the 'net and there are tons of free patterns out there.  The problem is that I didn't like any of them!  Mostly I think they were just not complicated enough.  I like to make my life difficult.  My solution was to draw my own.  I started the old fashioned way...

I came up with something I liked and scanned it in to clean it up and do a few test renders.  I was also checking my Flickr stats.

After that it was cuttin' and stickin'!

I finally got to this point:

Next was quilting and binding, my favourite!  (not)

Here is the label I printed using my home laser printer.  I plan on getting some made by Spoonflower, but until then I use this tutorial.

Here is the finished mini quilt!

This quilt is not perfect.  It was a bit outside of my skill zone and it shows.  The curved piecing was a proper pain.  Some of the curves I had to unpick three times which left a few holes in the fabric.   The points don't line up as well as I'd like because I have an aversion to pins.  I learned a lot on this project though!  I like uber complicated things to challenge myself.  This is one design I'll never make again...

The last thing to do was package it up to post.

The end of this swap left me a bit disappointed.  The quilt I received was lovely and will be the subject of my next post.  That wasn't the problem.  

The first gripe is with the postal systems of the UK, the US, and Canada.  Both have recently raised their prices but service is appalling.  I had my pillow from the last swap take nearly 8 weeks to come from Canada and this quilt took almost 6 to get to it's home in the US.  This is shocking.  Post travels by air so there is no excuse for this at all.  With the rise in prices this could spell the end for international swapping which would be a shame.  

My second gripe is in some ways more serious.  The recipient of this quilt has had it for a week and a half before she contacted me.  What is worse is that she is a swap mama.  This sort of behaviour is reeeeally bad.  I'm a bit livid actually.  I had to find out she had it from the updated discussion boards. My swap mama forgot to tell me it was received as well.  I think the only reason she finally emailed me is because I asked my swap mama to have it shipped back to me if I hadn't heard anything in another week. How long would I have had to wait if I didn't say anything?  Who knows.  All in all not the best swap I've been in by a long shot.  The thing that made it worth while it the fantastic quilt I got in the post!  You can see that in my next post.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Pillow Talk Swap

I've decided to catch up with everything I've been doing so I can get lazy with my posts again.  At the end of last year I took part in the Pillow Talk Swap on Flickr.  I knew this was a great way to start getting noticed.  Brioni got tons of attention when she swapped here and it in part led to her being a founder of Fat Quarterly.

I knew my partner liked bright rainbow colours and she was from Texas.  I decided on the Lone Starburst block by Six White Horses because I loved it and wanted to make one, and also because Texas in known as the "Lone Star State".

The block is 12" square and I wanted my pillow to be 16" square so I stupidly shrunk the pattern down to 75%.  I say stupidly because it was pretty tricky to make this small.  I think the end result was pretty spectacular though!

I really love how this turned out.  My points could have been a bit better but I learned a lot and they will be next time.  Quilting was a bit interesting.  I didn't know there was a guide for the sewing machine, so I made my own.

Quilting isn't what I like about sewing so I think I made a bit of a hash of it.  It was fairly wonky.  Everyone seems to think it's fine though.  The picture below has been making the rounds on Pinterest and it gets tons of hits daily.

Here are some pictures of the finished pillow!

Here is the lovely pillow I got from Liz!  I think it's perfect because while I love the minimal and simple design it is so not something I'd ever make.  Thanks tons Liz!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Finally a new post! Brit Quilt Swap 3 received!

Hello all!

It's been a ridiculous amount of time since my last post.  With a busy life and an active toddler it's hard to find the time to blog when there are so many other things that need doing.  

Time to stop being remiss!

I absolutely NEED to shout out to Sarah at Narcoleptic in a Cupboard! She was my swap partner for the Brit Quilt Swap 3 and boy did she do an amazing job.  She stalked me well, made an awesome quilt, and added in some spectacular goodies.  First off is the quilt.

It is full on paper pieced loveliness!

 Here is her label on the back.


 Now, the quilt is fab but the goodies really made me shout with glee!

 Chocolate and comedy magnets are good, but did you spot the sewing bag?  This is the back.  For those of don't get the reference, it's from Star Wars and suggesting that I use my Jedi mind tricks on Brioni when I steel her fabric.

 Here's the front with a much more esoteric reference.

First I have to say that Sarah's embroidery skills (and stalking skills) are truly amazing.  This references my favorite video game Fallout 3.  I posted a pic on Flicker that had a corner of the game box showing and she spotted it!  Thank you soooooooo much Sarah!  I know I thanked you profusely at the time but I'm sorry the blog post took so long.

Finally, Jimmy approves!

I've also admitted I'm a slow blogger!  Go here!