This evening I have been at my favourite place in London, The Make Lounge doing a cupcake decorating class on the theme of vintage designs. I absolutely love making and decorating cakes and learned some great new skills from the lovely Charlotte of restoration cake including;
Using silicone molds and cutters
Here are my lovely cupcakes - too pretty to eat!!!
Not much sewing going on here as I have been too busy enjoying the blissful sunshine. I did make another swoon block and a Rocky Road to Kansas block for Cara over at Bee Europa, excuse the photos it was pretty dark by the time they were done.
The rest of my weekend has been spent enjoying the sunshine and playing with instagram. I also bought this cute noodle / salad bowl, just what I needed for Summer Suppers.
So I haven't fixed the blocks I made for Hollie as I am waiting on some Kona ash but I have made these two blocks for Lee.
Just looking at this one makes me feel happy, I am calling it Sunshine Star. Lee asked for rainbow blocks but not a traditional colour wheel. I made one sunny block and one midnight block. I will find it hard to part with them :(
No as you probably already know I am in Bee a LoneStar(burst) over on flickr. The Lone Star is a gorgeous paper pieced block but I make no secret of the fact that I find it hard. It challenges me because I am not good at anything that involves reversing something (yes that includes driving) and it is hard to get my head around have the fabric on one side and the paper on another. I really have to concentrate hard to get the blocks right and in concentrating hard I make ludicrous sewing mistakes like sewing my finger or slicing my finger with the rotary cutter.
There are two queen bees every month so I have to make four tricky blocks a month, the concentration is killing me!!! I am getting better though and have learnt loads from the ladies in the Bee who are all increadibly helpful with their advice and kind and generous with their comments (even though I am pretty sure I don't deserve some of their praise). I was really pleased with my efforts for Hollie this month. She chose an unusual combination of tangerine, aqua and red which looks amazing. Here are my two blocks, made with some precious Heather Ross fabric and my stash of Joel Dewberry Heirloom.
I was pleased with them. They looked good, they were the right size, the fabrics are some of my favourite, I was done halfway through the month. I joyfully posted them on flickr then realised the background fabric should have been Kona Ash not white. Aaaarghh!!!! Back to the drawing board :(
I have been trying to keep up with my Bee Blocks this week. I have over-committed to Bees because I had two coming to an end so I rashly went and signed up for more before the existing ones had actually finished. I really love doing Bees but sometimes it doesn't leave much time left for other things.
First up were these two blocks for Melissa in Sew Bee Blissful. They are for a quilt for her husband and it was lovely to work with these dark fabrics. I really like these blocks and can't wait to see the finished quilt.
Next up were two more blocks for Bee a Lonestar(burst). I am pleased to report that I am getting better at these blocks. I have got into a little routine for making them and didn't even have to use my seam ripper for these.
This one is for Sarah
This one is for Hollie
Finally I finished my Nikki Tote in Echino fabrics. (You may have noticed I use the word finished to describe things that are nearly done e.g. this bag does not have the buttons hand sewn onto it yet, they are just pinned on, I also have a habit of saying quilts are finished when I have only finished the top and still have the quilting and binding to go... I like to delude myself that projects are completed so I can start something new)
The back, I will make sure the butterflies are going up when I stitch the buttons on.
Yesterday was sewing saturday. I only left the house once to get food - my fridge was empty except for some out of date eggs that I thought were best avoided (once I had Salmonella, an experience I never wish to repeat). I sewed for the whole rest of the day. I finished my Radio Way quilt
Can you see Tess the shy kitty just behind it on the left?
Obligatory Cat shot - this is why I had a mouthful of cat hair when I went to sleep - yuck!
Then I finished up the third of my four Bee a Lone Star(burst) blocks. I may have overdone it with the spots, it looks slightly like some scary sea creature......
This is Block two of the four (actually three of five if you include the test block) I don't think I have posted this.
These blocks are paper pieced and I have been finding them quite hard. Also concentrating on them has led to me making lots of rookie mistakes like sewing my finger, slicing my finger with the rotary cutter, sewing without any thread in the machine - doh! Honestly it is like the past 30+ years of sewing never happened!!!
The ladies over at Bee a LoneStar(burst) have given me so many good tips and endless positive comments. Without these I would have given up after the first two blocks. I am so grateful to them and now feel like I am getting the hang of these blocks. I love the design and can't wait for my month - rainbow stars.
I also began a Nikki Tote ( I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough and Michelle has 10% off this weekend) in some luscious Echino fabric I have been hoarding. Unfortunatley I ran out of thread for topstitching the handles so it is not finished but I am loving it so far.
I used some Echino for the inside too but didn't have enough so it is a bit of a mash-up, some purple for the inside band and some leftover fabric from the front for the pocket but I love how it turned out.
Such a shame I ran out of thread last night, it would be the perfect bag to take out for brunch on this lovely sunny sunday. Yes I am leaving the house today to socialise but will be back later for some more sewing.
SO even though I resolved not to start any big quilt projects unless I had time off to finish them I just couldn't resist cutting into my stash of Denyse Schmidt fabric to make this quilt. I had the pattern for ages and the fabric was all stacked up on my desk ready and waiting and I needed to reward myself for being so good finishing up 3! WIP quilts that had been hanging around for a year. Anyhow you know how it is I couldn't resist. The blocks came together super quick and before long I had them all ready to lay out on my design wall living room floor, yes it is another massive quilt. I had to make my living room a cat free zone to lay out the blocks and I felt slightly bad as they scratched at the door to come in and get a fix of fresh quilt but I resisted as I knew 2 cats + 63 quilt blocks = chaos. So here are all the blocks laid out
I used some Denyse Schmidt as well as Kei dots, some Laurie Wisbrun Modern Whimsy and some vintage fabric I had. I love how fresh and pretty it looks.
I started to sew the blocks together and was laying out the strips on my bed, all neatly pressed (don't you just love the smell of freshly ironed fabric) and inevitably this happened
What is it with cats and fabric? I can't really be cross with her, she just loves quilts as much as me :)
I am spending the whole rest of the weekend sewing - yipeee!!!
So this month's challenge for the London Modern Quilt Guild was to make a mini quilt. Annie has arranged for 12 mini quilts to be displayed in John Lewis on Oxford Street so we all had to make a quilt that summed up modern quilting.
I was really excited about the challenge but somehow in between trying to finish up my WIPs, keeping up with Bee blocks, completing the tricky Lone Star paper pieced blocks and attending the wonderful Lucie Summers workshop I just didn't have time. I thought it would be ok because Annie had said if we didn't attend we could post pics on the flickr page but when I got there everyone had made a mini quilt and they were all fabulous!! I felt like the biggest slacker, not even bothering to make one. Annie told us the deadline was the following evening so I spent all the next day making this mini quilt.
I used this tutorial from the Moda Bakeshop. I love this block, partly because I love star blocks but also for the texture which reminds me of Origami. For me modern quilting is taking traditional materials and techniques and updating them with colourful, modern fabrics. A huge part of modern quilting for me is accessing tutorials and virtual quilting bees via the internet. I have learned loads through the internet and am constantly delighted to find people out there doing very traditional crafts in a thoroughly modern way and sharing their knowledge so generously through blogs and flickr groups. You can see all the other quilts over on the flickr page
I have been pretty busy sewing the past couple of weeks and realised I haven't blogged any of the blocks I've completed so here is a quick run down.
First up these two pretty blocks from Caroline over at Sew Bee Blissful. I love the fabrics she has used and this design is so pretty and easy to make. I think I'd like to make myself a whole quilt like this, that is if I didn't have so many quilts lined up waiting to be made already!
Next up were wonky stars for Shanna at Sew Modern Bee. Wonky stars are one of my all time faves and I loved making this block with a baby Wonky Star
and this Wonky Star with a rainbow middle
Finally I signed up for Bee a Lone Star(burst) to make this fab paper pieced block. While I am loving it I have to admit I am not the best at paper piecing but hey after doing 4 of these every month for 6 months I hope I will be a whole lot better.
I also made this baby quilt for my friend. I used up some of my 3x6 blocks, kind of cheating but I needed to get it done as the baby has already arrived. It went super crinkly when I washed it, I love that although it doesn't make for great pics.
May is also my month to be queen bee at Sew Modern. I am making this block again that I used for Sew Bee Blissful earlier in the year. I love this yellow and grey palette and hope I get all the blocks back this time as sadly some went missing from Sew Bee Blissful.
Right I'm off now to sew some of my Radio Way quilt. I have been dying to cut into my Denyse Schmidt stash and now I have finished up most of my WIP quilts I can make a start - yay!!!
Get on over to the London Modern Quilt Guild blog for a great giveaway. You can win a bundle of lovely Laura Gunn fabric just leave a comment. The giveaway is open to all so get on over there and comment!