End of January Etsy Shop Sale

 

Just a little heads up to let you know the novelty fabric packs in my Etsy shop

are available to purchase at a 20% discount until the end of January πŸ™‚

There are packs of 20 or 42 novelty prints available. All prints are 100% cotton and have been rotary cut to 5″ square – ideal for making I-Spy quilts or personalised gifts. Not only did I source 42 different novelty prints, I also washed and pressed them all before carefully cutting out the charm squares πŸ™‚

Until 31st January the packs of 20 prints are available for Β£9.50 and the packs of 42 prints for Β£17.50. Prices include UK postage. On 1st February prices will revert to the usual Β£11.50 and Β£22.00 per pack.

Subscribers to my email newsletter have an extra discount to use in my Etsy Shop. Why not subscribe now to make the most of this End of January Sale? πŸ™‚

 

Unfortunately the prohibitive costs prevent me shipping physical goods outside of the UK but my PDF patterns are ready to purchase and download wherever you are in the World.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (280)

Welcome to a belated Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 😌 I hope you still have a bit of time to bring along a project or two and delve through the links below to discover some of the good things being shared by our Worldwide Quilting Community.

I had one of those weeks where I hopped around between various projects. I did actually start and complete a patchwork tote bag. I used the pattern I devised several years ago and used up some left over 1930s prints. I never knew quite how to integrate the black background 1930s repro prints with the prints on bright backgrounds (I’m not a big fan of using black) so there were enough of those black prints to make a couple of 12″ nine-patch blocks to use as panels for the outside of the bag. I also ‘invented’ a removable padded handle grip and used cotton webbing for the handles rather than making them from fabric. Now I need to list the tote bag in my Folksy shop…

On Saturday I took two projects to a sewing day. I enjoyed using my mechanical ‘Bernie the Bernette’ sewing machine to stitch many quarter inch seams. Together we made the first two ‘Bullseye’ Courthouse Step blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt (red is the colour for January) before moving onto my latest design project, a beginner friendly baby quilt I’m calling ‘Trip Around the Stars’.

I love the soft grey background and whimsical feel of this ‘To The Moon And Back’ fabric by Michael Miller. I bought yardage from Sew Busy and I’m tempted to go back for more!

I need to make six more RSC blocks before the end of the month; add borders to the baby quilt; and finish writing the pattern. BUT I’m now allowing myself to be pulled in a different direction: namely to make a Plaidish Quilt. There’s an informal QAL being organised by @jessicaquilter on Instagram using the pattern by @kitchentablequilting.Β  I’ve had a hankering to make a Plaidish quilt for a l-o-n-g time πŸ˜‰

Here’s a snapshot of the many, many interesting and inspiring blog posts published by generous members of our Worldwide Quilting Community:

As I mentioned last week heart patterns are coming to the fore with Valentine’s Day just round the corner (in craft makers reckoning anyway!). I particularly like Mariana’s ‘Heart Bits’ pattern. The faceted heart shapes look very jewel like, I wonder how the pattern would look made with ombre fabrics?

Rachel has some great tips for sorting scraps and selecting colours to use in scrap quilts πŸ™‚

I like the strong, simple design of Angela Walter’s latest quilt, ‘Faded Stripes‘. Going off on a side track: Angela’s quilt has reminded me of my plan to make a row-by-row quilt using all the speciality rulers I’ve accumulated over the years….

Putting together a plan to tackle some UFOs through the year and having a friend do the same seems like a good way to stay motivated as you cheer each other on. Cynthia and one of her friends have each listed 12 UFOs and will be working on them month by month in a random order. Read about their plan here.

Linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday – there’s a whole host of lovely projects show-cased in the link-up πŸ™‚

Allison

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Adjusting to a new season in and out of the sewing room

Japanese Graden, Kew by Allison Reid
Peace and tranquility at the Japanese Garden, Kew – a photo memory from Oct 2018

I knew September would throw up a lot of changes but I hadn’t factored-in quite what an impact adjusting to them all would have on my slowed-down, lock-down self. In trying to accommodate increased social activity I know I’ve dropped a few balls, including writing for this blog. Sorry for the lack of regular posts – there have been plenty written in my head!

I’m definitely not grumbling about the way life is changing, just having to acknowledge that returning to a more normal, pre-Covid, level of activity is going to take some time to get used to.

Gratitude Log. First and foremost I am grateful for the roll-out and up-take of vaccines in the UK – over 80% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated. The vaccination programme has made the following events possible and I’m acutely aware that most of the World’s population have no where near the levels of Covid-safety I’m privileged to enjoy.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been grateful because:

  • Both my husband and younger son have found employment and we are settling into new routines.
  • I’ve been on a sewing day – first in 18 months πŸ™‚ Felt so odd being in a public hall and not wearing a mask! Funny that I sat next to a lady and as we chatted we realised she’d been one of the customers I’d served earlier that week in Purple Stitches – we’d both been wearing masks in the shop so didn’t recognise one another!
  • The ladies mid-week Bible study group at Church has begun meeting in-person rather than on Zoom.
  • We’ve been able to meet up with family and friends for a variety of socials including birthday celebrations and an in-person meeting of our Housegroup.
  • I’ve begun teaching again. The first class of the four session Beginners Course took place last Saturday.

Whew! That’s a lot of social activity and I’ve just had to accept that it’s going to take introvert me a little time to cope with this return to a more balanced social routine.

Which makes me grateful for something else, namely my sewing room πŸ™‚ Definitely a place to retreat into, find rest in creativity or just find rest in pottering about, fondling fabric and playing with new ideas. Occasionally this sewing room space does become a place of work though. For the past two weeks I have been pressing, rotary cutting and collating novelty print fabrics. I managed to source 42 different cotton prints. After laundering them all I set about cutting them into 1,156 five inch squares! (I’ve only just worked that out – definitely better not to have known at the start of the process how many were needed!).

I have collated the squares into eighteen packs of 42 and twenty packs of 20. All are now listed in my Etsy and Folksy shops for UK customers. Alongside the packs of novelty squares I’ve listed my I-Spy Shadow Quilt pattern. I’m proud of this pattern as I designed it to be a quick and easy make and it has received positive reviews ☺️

Apart from the 42 novelty print squares all that’s required to complete the patchwork are two background fabrics – one a darker shade of the main background to create the ‘shadows’. The pattern has step-by-step instructions for strip piecing. Despite appearances there’s no fiddling about with sashing as the strips between the novelty squares are part of the blocks. The pattern is available as a pdf download on Etsy or as a printed pattern for UK customers on Folksy. (Unfortunately Etsy add tax onto the price of the pattern – obviously I don’t receive that money).

Handling all the novelty fabrics has got me fired up to make another I-Spy Shadow quilt. I think I’ll try making a smaller version using 30 novelty squares in a 5 by 6 layout. I’ll be posting my progress here and on Instagram @allisonreid.neweverymorning

Background fabrics along with the excess novelty squares I’ll be using.

Other projects that need attention this weekend are my blocks for the Beginners Class – can’t have the teacher falling behind on the homework! I’ve taught the Beginners Course several times, making at least five versions of Viv’s Dashing Stars quilt.

My most recent Dashing Stars quilt – I added borders to this one.

This time around I’m mainly using fabrics from my overflowing bins of blue scraps. I’ve decided to alter the pattern a bit by making Square-in-a-Square Blocks in place of the large feature fabric squares. I used this table on the Quilter’s Paradise site to figure out the cutting of the fabrics for the Square-in-a-Square Blocks. A very handy resource for anyone who ties themselves in knots doing quilt math!

Once I’ve done my Beginners Course homework and the prep for lesson two I will turn my attention to the ninth block of the Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail Sew Along. I’m making these blocks using scraps of blue fabric – surely I’ll be able to close the lids on those bins soon? πŸ˜€

I hope you have some time to be creative this weekend.

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

PS. Catching up with reading blog posts is definitely on my list with the intention to re-establish Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts as soon as I have brain space to absorb more than ‘absolutely necessary’ information!

 

Writing Patchwork Patterns and Dreaming of Dandelions

Hey! Ho! I spent Bank Holiday Monday in my sewing room pushing through writers/quilters block to get my latest pattern ‘done’. No surprise that the pattern isn’t DONE but – putting on positivity hat – progress has been made. It took a lot of concentration and what felt like endless rounds of jumping from a printed draft, to the laptop, to my sewing machine and over to the photographic light tent…

You do have permission to copy my meme and use it as many times as you like! Let’s spread the word!

…. Which leads me to this serious aside about patchwork quilt patterns. It takes a lot of time, thought, fabric and false starts to create a pattern. Respect to pattern writers who manage to create original designs, produce patterns and then market them. As patchwork quilters we know the value of a well written pattern – whether a stand alone item or one from a collection in a book. We really shouldn’t be making ‘free’ copies of these patterns to share with friends, to use for workshops, or Guild get togethers. If the pattern writer hasn’t given permission for copying then any copies are in effect stolen – copying without permission is THEFT. Do we really want to be handing out stolen goods to our friends? As well as resisting the temptation to make copies we need to find polite ways of pointing out this issue of theft whilst saying ‘no thank you’ to copied patterns whenever they are offered to us. That may mean having awkward conversations with friends and Guild workshop organisers. I know from experience this is difficult and now I feel guilty when I look through my collection of patterns and find some which were most likely copied without permission. In fact it’s about time I destroyed those dubious copies and looked out for originals to purchase (direct from the designer if possible).

Time to step down from my soap box…

Those who follow this blog will know I’m more of a ‘starter’ than a ‘finisher’ so won’t be surprised to learn that even whilst concentrating hard on writing the pattern there’s been a bit of my mind considering new projects πŸ˜€ After a day of working on the pattern I was too tired to continue so the ‘shiny new project’ part of my mind got free-rein. I have a drawer (well! two drawers actually) filled with speciality rulers, some bought with projects in mind, others acquired as magazine freebies. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a row-by-row quilt using each of these rulers in turn. Maybe in doing this I’ll find real treasure in some and be able to part with others that really don’t cut the mustard?

As I’ve recently been seeing quite a few machine pieced hexagon quilts showing up in my social media feeds I was inevitably drawn to the multi-size Hexagon Cutter I’d acquired with an issue of Today’s Quilter magazine. And lo and behold! I found a 60ΒΊ triangle ruler too! Perfect!

What about fabric? Ah! Ha! Just the job – a Charm Pack I’ve been eyeing for a while now. There’ll be a bit of waste from the 5″ charm squares as I’ll have to cut hexagons measuring 4″ by 4Β½” but much better to use the squares than have them languishing in my stash! For the triangles I auditioned several solid fabrics before choosing the blue (it is a Kona Solid, maybe ‘Evening’?).

As I was drifting off to sleep I mused about introducing negative space into the design, which led me to think of Dandelion clocks against a blue sky… 😴

This morning I tested out the rulers on a couple of spare charm squares. Hum! Correct angles but sizes not quite compatible, doh!

The triangles were slightly too big. I had to centre them by making a crease in the hexagon block. Once I’d sewn the seams I trimmed down the triangle on the left. Back to the drawing board…

Just as well this shiny new project idea isn’t too straightforward because I really MUST FINISH writing that pattern before I start another project! πŸ˜€

Linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday and Beth for Monday Making.

Allison