Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Handmade Fair at Hampton Court

I booked my tickets ages ago for this event and have so been looking forward to the day. And it totally lived up to my expectations.

My friend and I arrived nice and early so that we were there when it opened. The picture above is of Kirsty just be fore she cut the ribbon to open the fair - she was explaining how they had asked for (and had been provided with!) posh porta loos.

The shopping was amazing - everything you could hope to buy and more. I always think traders at these events should have more discounts but the fact I was paying full price for everything didn't put me off! 

We took part in a couple of group events - we made Pom poms for the World Pomination Guinness world record attempt, then attended a talk with Kirsty and Kaffe Fassett, and then a sewing class with Stuart Hillard. 

I was a little bit teary eyed during this session because I so love Kaffe Fassett. After wards I bought his new book and had him sign it for me.

Our last session of the day was joining Stuart Hillard to make fabric brooches and this class was really fun! He seems like such a nice guy, passionate about craft and about teaching and generally really good company.

Looking at comments on Facebook, it seems like they are going to hold another event next year - if you didn't manage to go this time round, I highly recommend it for next time!

Love Natalie

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Block and a Swap

In the Little Blog Quilt Bee, it's Celines turn to be Queen Bee this month, and she asked for a Pineapple Block. I've not made one of these before, and have not tried paper piecing before so this was a real test of my skills! I tried a practice block and just about got the hang of it, so cut out the fabric for the real version and........

Ta da! I'm quite chuffed with it, everything seems to be in the right place. My measuring was even pretty good. Celine has received it now so I'm happy to share it. I've really enjoyed trying something new and think I might have a go at more blocks like this.

This week I've also signed up for a swap. Those of you on Instagram may have seen the sign ups for the Little Quilt Swap, organised by Sarah Fielke.

I'm all set to go! My book has arrived in the post (each mini has to be one of the patterns in Sarah's recent book) and I've got the details of my swap "partner". Now just to select which quilt to make and make some fabric choices - what could be easier? Eeeekkk!! The pressure! I'm really looking forward to getting on with it, and it's wonderful to know that someone out there in the world is going to make something for me! I may not be able to think about this project properly until next week because I'm going to the Handmade Fair on Saturday and I'm just a tiny bit excited. I'm taking part in the Pom-Pom challenge, I'm going to the talk with Kirsty and Kaffe Fassett (I love his work!) and I'm taking a sewing class with Stuart Hillard. I'll try and take lots of photos to share.

I hope your week is equally exciting!

Love Natalie

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A Random Rainbow

I've called this quilt a random rainbow because I went with my sons request for the random placement of the HST's rather than the rainbow version I had preferred. Last weekend I finished the quilting, and my son has been wrapped up in it ever since (even though it's still really warm!).

I used an ikea fabric to back the quilt and, although you can't see it so well in this picture, a navy with white stars fabric for the binding from my stash. I'm not sure that that was the right choice as I don't think the stars are always shown off to their full potential but you live and learn!

I quilted in sections - diagonals across the HST's then stitch in the ditch around the borders. I had wanted to use a stipple effect throughout the green border but I just couldn't make it work. The tension was wrong somewhere and so my threads kept bunching at the back or slightly pulling through the green thread from the front. More practice is obviously needed (on a smaller project maybe!).

When I make my next quilt, I really must make a few notes about the fabric etc because all I can tell you is that I used a Moda charm pack but I can't remember the name (something like Simply Be I think), some leftover solids from a previous project, and blue and green yardage from my stash. It is single bed size.

I've loved working on this quilt, and working out how to put the whole thing together, and my son is certainly pleased with it.

New projects beckon!

Love Natalie

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

King Cole Cardigan

With more than a little help from my Mum, I've finished a cardigan to keep me warm through the winter.

It was a King cole DK pattern and was quite straightforward - until I got involved! I am just over 6' tall so often clothes are too short in the body and arms. So before I started this cardigan, I decided I'd add a bit of extra length to all the pieces - after the Fair Isle, it's just straight stocking stitch, right? So how come I ended up with a back and 2 front pieces all different lengths??? Goodness only knows what I did - I'd swear blind I knitted everything to the adjusted length. Perhaps (as is so often the case with all of my projects!) my measuring was out. Consequently, the collar that was on the pattern was nigh on impossible to do ( and my Mum knows - she put every effort in to make it work) but I am more than happy with a straight collar. I even decided to go without buttons and button holes as I'll never do it up - I can always add buttons on for decorative purposes later.

Remember my catchphrase for 2014? Finished is better than perfect? 😜

Love Natalie