Saturday, 1 December 2012

Fun shopping

Yesterday was a day for goodies.

Its a pain that I work so far away from home I have to use hotels, but every now and again it has its benefits. For two days, Oakshott Fabrics were have a warehouse sale which just happened to be 30mins from the hotel I stay in.

And even better, I could justify a really big blow out as I was getting to spend birthday money (yes I became another year older this week).

So I bagged a FQ Bundle of their Lipari
And a FQ bundle of the ruby reds
And a whole selection of 1/2 metre cuts. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

November Sewing

Well, its been a quiet month for me blogging, as its been a quiet sewing month.

My EPP is slowly growing and I seem to always have a bit with me in my handbag now.

And the only outing for the sewing machine was to make these four blocks for the FQR Kinky Bee.

Thats it!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Being Thankful

I've seen a few posts this week about being thankful this week and I really like the idea so here goes, even though its a bit late:

  • I have the best Mum in the world
  • I'm tough enough to survive the things life has thrown at me
  • I have a good brain and learnt how to use it
  • I have been able to recognise some of the life changing opportunities that have crossed my path
  • I was taught to knit as a child (thanks Mum)
  • I was allowed to spend my pocket money on the Busy Needles partwork magazine
  • I got over my fear of the sewing machine and started quilting
  • I discovered how much social media has to offer (there is more to it than porn and nastiness)
  • I joined the London Modern Quilt Guild
  • I went back to school at the age of 40.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Bonfire Night

Another bonfire night - more fireworks on Blackheath. I love watching fireworks, and bonfire night is one of my favourite nights of the year (I know technically Sat wasn't but thats the night they do the display).

Last monday, I spent a few hours at Raystitch sewing with Cassandra Ellis sewing blocks to be made into charity quilts. It was a drop in evening and some people hadn't even used a sewing machine before. Hopefully they got the bug when they realised how easy and satisfying it can be. I didn't get any pics (too busy sewing) but Michael did and he's blogged them here.

ps: is anyone else having problems uploading pics to blogger? I have to get them into Flickr at the moment then copy from there. Pain in the bum....

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Bloggers quilt festival

I haven't achieved that many finishes this year, but what I have managed is to finish my favourite quilt ever and I'm so happy I can enter it in the festival found here


This quilt started life as a foundation paper piecing QAL with hosted and designed by Becky. I ended up going for a bed sized quilt and it took me over a year to finished. Around the same time, we had a lot of bereavement in the family and I decided to use this quilt to give to a cousin Kathleen in memory of one of our mutual Aunts who Kathleen was very close to.

Becky lives in the US, Kathleen and myself in the UK, but I knew it would go to Kathleen's cottage in Ireland so green, white and gold seemed a good colour choice.

All the fabrics on the top came from stash and I'm sure I broke all the rules; there are solids, batiks and prints of all descriptions in there. I organised my greens and yellows into three piles, light medium and dark and used about 7 or 8 fabrics in each pile. I think I counted 51 or 52 fabrics in total.

To make it specific to my Aunty Martha, I used a sheet from her home I found when I cleared it out.

I pieced it, then quilted in four sections using Aurifil variegated thread in yellow and green. I spent months deciding on how I would quilt it and practised different things. I managed to put the four quilted pieces together in such a way that you can't tell it was quilted separated. Its a lot easier to manage small pieces on a domestic sewing machine.


Working on the quilting in particular was quite emotional, I thought of Martha a lot but in a good way. A lot of tears were shed over it but sometimes tears are healing, it was certainly the case for me.


Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Memories of Martha
Finished quilt measures : 60″x72″
Special techniques used : foundation paper pieced.
Best Category : Bed Quilt, Home Machine Quilted

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Still alive

I can't believe it is a month since I last posted. I seem to have got sucked into the Twitter/Instagram world more than blogging. I'm ShevvyLondon on both of those if you are interested in finding me.

I haven't done a huge amount of sewing, my lovely sewing machine is feeling quite lonely and unloved most of the time.

I've piece one top that I haven't taken a photo of yet and a few bee blocks. These ones are machine sewn for the FQR Kinky Bee...

IMG_0522 IMG_0523 IMG_0529
and these ones are paper pieced for the EEEP EPP Bee.

IMG_0525 EPP bee block
I have to point out that I'm not to blame for the carpet in the last one, its the hotel I use in the week that is responsible!

I've also been EPPing some more of my own blocks, these are growing quite nicely and I take them all over the place with me.

Finally, I managed to finish the embroidery I started with Aneela Hoey that is taken from her new book. I now need to decide what I am going to do with it, but I think it will be a cushion eventually.

Thats all for now - I know it won't be so long until my next post as I want to do one for the Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

3rd Quarter FAL

Its time to report in on my progress in the Finish a Long hosted by Rhonda.

My first thought when I saw her post was, bum (or a slightly stronger word than that) I haven't finished anything, but I thought I would double check what I hoped to do back in early July.

Well, I was wrong. I did finish one thing and one thing only during the last 3 months and it was something I had down on my target list, so I'm counting that as a success.

This little top has been made to be donated when the LMQG decide on a charity to support. Its around 36x36in and I don't even know if I've posted about it since I finished it. The last 3 months have been a blur of mainly work with bits of fun in between....

I quilted it using random curved lines using the walking foot. Not sure if it is a method I would use again though.

I used up a lot of scraps in it so I'm always happy with that.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sewing this, sewing that

Do you ever feel that time is just slipping away much much faster than it should be? This summer has flown by so fast its shocking.

Work took over most of it - that was really my compromise to them when I took the job so that I could work part time in term time. 5 days away from home every week is hard. I used to do that not just for a couple of months but years on end yet I never felt so drained by it. I suppose I was a lot younger when I first started doing it and maybe I was more willing to sacrifice my social life back then. This year, mainly because of the fantastic quilting community I am part of meant I wanted to do social things as well. The net result - knackered!

I'm now back at college one day a week and working part time so hopefully I can achieve a better balance. That includes commenting more on blogs. I have tried to keep up with my reading, but I've been hopeless at commenting so please accept my apologies.

I've done very little stitching, but have been doing some in the hotel using my improvised sewing studio - the chair!

I joined a English Paper Piecing Bee and the first two blocks are for that.

I enjoyed doing it so much I started some more of my own.

Then today I did something I hadn't done in years. Embroidery - but not just any old embroidery, but special Aneela Hoey embroidery from her new book Little Stitches and taught by the lady herself!

We had a fab day, sewing and chatting and laughing and eating lots of goodies provided by Pennie....chocolate brownies......yum!

This was how far I got with my little girl on the swing......

and here she is playing with all the others.....

I had to go for the green dress didn't I???

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

More fun with the London Modern Quilt Guild

So having dinner with Tula Pink wasn't enough for the LMQG. Oh no.

Sunday we had our monthly meeting at Liberty's. Yes, that shop!

And we had a talk by non other that Sholto who is the designer behind the Liberty lifestyle range. We got to see the pics of some of the original prints that inspired the range and how they got adapted. There was some boos from some of the guild when they saw the purple colour way that never made it to production, someone had to make some tough choices!

We also got a sneak peak at some designs from the next collection and also know the theme of the one after that!!!

I also found out that Sholto had designed the V&A cottons for the Quilts exhibition a few years ago. One of my favourite ever prints was in that; the green lattice was the first fabric I bought by the metre.

Like a numpty though I was too interested to take photos so you will have to take my word for it!

I have done a little bit of sewing, I've set up a sewing room on my hotel chair and am doing some EPP. Roll on next week when I go back to class and part time working. Being at home more might mean I get some more done!

Monday, 27 August 2012

How great is the quilting community?

I was going to go for a more obviously title to this post as it is basically going to be aimed at making you all jealous but then I realised it was more than that.

On Tuesday evening the London Modern Quilt Guild got to meet Tula Pink!!!

She was in the UK for the festival of quilts and got in touch with us to give us a talk. We arranged a meal in a pub in knightsbridge and the tone of the evening was set while we were eating and the tv starting showing channel 4s Embarrassing Bodies. Some very explicit diagrams of male to female sex change operations are not what you really need when trying to impress a quilting celebrity!!!

But it did relax everyone and Tula gave us a great talk on how she designs, showed us loads of drawings and fabric samples then some amazing quilts. I was far too busy drooling to get many pics and none of them are very good but the one below was stunning.

But was an evening with the lovely Tula enough? No, it wasn't! It turned out she had couple of days on her own in London so I basically inflicted my company on her for one of the days and she kindly didn't report me to police as a stalker.

We went to the V&A of course, where else would you take a designer? We met up with Ruth from Twohippos there and the pic below is of Tula and Ruth in the William Morris dining rooms.

Then we headed off to Liberties where Tula's fabric is now on sale. She wouldn't let me take a pic with her and the fabric, I know it would have been very cheesy! It looked like it is selling well though.

After lots of chatting and cafes and celeb spotting I finally had to let her go free in the evening but I had a wonderful day.

So if you are at all tempted by her fabric let me encourage you to buy lots as she really is a great person and I for one am very happy to see someone with huge talent and a fab personality get rewarded for all their hard work.

Go on, you know you are only looking for an excuse to buy more fabric anyway!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Festival of Quilts

I had a fabulous time at the FoQs over the weekend. I learned my lesson from last year and went for two days this time and booked on some workshops and a lecture.

I got to spent time with lots of lovely quilters, some I knew from the guild, and FQ Retreat and others I just ended up talking to in the hotel, in the coffee shop or in a workshop.

I did a reasonable amount of shopping but not too much so I don't think I went too mad.

Even with 2 days I didn't get to see all the quilts on display or look at all the vendors but I took it much easier and enjoyed what I did without stressing.

I loved the variety of the quilts, there was truly something for everyone there. I think I am not the only one baffled by one or two of the judging choices but each to there own.

I took loads of pics but they didn't display the names of the makers. Here are a few that stood out for me.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Some weeks are better than others

I spent the majority of this week living up to my newly self-appointed nickname "irritable bitch".

When my friend, colleague and technically my boss on this contract
said yesterday I had been noticeably and unusually grumpy this week I said it was because I couldn't be bothered stroking the egos of people who are getting paid really well to do a job and haven't been delivering what they need to do!

As he was one of those people, although not the only one he got the message! We start a big phase of the project Monday and if people had got their fingers out more and grafted instead of swanning around trying to look important we would be in a much better place.

I can't do everything and if I am going to try then pay me everyone else's money and get rid of them!

But things got a bit better driving home Friday. Thanks to the Olympics, getting through central London was a breeze. Can we keep them forever please?

But more mood enhancers were waiting for me at home!

In the shape of a package from Canada sent by my friend Leanne at

Isn't it amazing how something comes at just the right time. I have seen Leanne's style develop and think it is fab and she used green for me as it is my favourite colour. This table mat is just perfect.

The special chocolates were an added bonus, they will help keep up my spirits this weekend before gong back Monday morning.

Thank you so much Leanne!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Loving Queenie

I have to say that despite being and old cynic, I ended up really enjoying last nights opening ceremony and thought Queenie and Bond was brilliant. I could stop laughing when I realised it wasn't a look alike.

I thought the whole thing was spot on and really reflected what Britain, and especially London is all about. I hope they release the soundtrack as the music was great.

For anyone who didn't get it, I think the message was "tough". If you really know us and understand us you will have got it and if you don't, they we don't care!!!!

I still can't believe Queenie did it! Bless her!

Anyway, I have been doing a bit of sewing and got my EPP bee blocks done.

I'm also trying to blog from the iPhone for the first time, so if it looks pants I'm sorry.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bits and bobs

Its been nearly two weeks since I last blogged. Isn't it funny how sometimes it just drops off your radar as something to do. I didn't consciously leave it so long, it just happens.

Because I'm working again I see that as justification to feed my fabric addiction. My newest find is a range that is simply beautiful, more so than in the pictures. Its called LillyBelle and I got mine from Annie.

I also won a prize in the Finish a Long. I have to admit, I passed on Rhonda's needleturn kit, it just wasn't something I would ever do so I ended up with a $10 voucher from and used it to buy this Anthology fabric. I really like the firework effect.

Last week Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably were at Tricolette for a book signing of their new knitting book. I got inspired to do some more knitting and have started a scarf using Rowans Kidsilk Haze. Its so fine and very delicate but it makes up wonderfully. I'll post pics soon. They also brought along a few of their quilts so we had a good look at those.

And amazingly I've even done some sewing. I finally took the plunge and joined not one but two Bees. The first is the FQR Kinky Bee which came out of the Fat Quarterly Retreat. These are my first blocks for it.

The second one is more of a challenge as it is an English Paper Piecing Bee so all hand work. I've only finished one of this months so far, but the other is underway.

I also finished off this little quilt. When the London Modern Quilt Guild pick a charity (we've had a few problems with the first option) this is for that. I used bits of Central Park along with Kona White in the blocks. I tried to do freeform wavy lines for the quilting, something I'm still not comfortable with so wanted to practice it.

I used four fat quarters from Lizzie Houses Hello Pilgrim for the backing and another one for the binding. Its only little, after washing it's ended up at 35x35inches. A nice easy size to manage.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

FAL 3rd Quarter

The Finish A Long hosted by Rhonda certainly gets me focused on what I want to achieve in the next 3 months even if I don't always make it happen.

This quilt top was on the list from last month and didn't even see the light of day, maybe this is its quarter to become a quilt.

I also have this top I pieced for our LMQG charity sewing, it too needs some love to make it a proper quilt.

These blocks I started working on a few weeks ago. I made a jelly roll race quilt at the FQRetreat and like the process but wanted to mix it up a bit. I took a Summersville jelly roll and got it to the point where it was eight strips wide. I then chopped it into squares. I managed to get 13 out of it, so I will undo one of blocks and use it for binding. I have an idea of how I want to layout the blocks, but as always it keeps changing. One of these days I will fix on one of the layouts long enough to get it made!

For more pledges, check out the linky party at FAL 3rd Qtr