Friday 25 July 2014

New to Me in July

It's the 25th of the month, so time to welcome you to another New to Me link party, don't they seem to come around more quickly in the summer?

I usually feel before I put these posts together that I haven't actually tried anything new in the month, so it is always a relief when I find out that I have :)

With the last class of my local quilt group before the summer break, we were introduced to the new to me technique of freezer paper applique. I have read instructions on how to use freezer paper for applique, but will be honest and say that they had never made much sense to me before, so I was delighted to get the chance to have a hands-on go at the technique.

The block is destined to be a stained glass applique block in the sampler quilt, but as you can see I haven't made much progress despite the class being three hours long! Still, I like the accuracy that tracing the shapes onto freezer paper gives, so definitely have plans to use the technique again, but only when I have actually managed to finish this block!

I always thought when reading the instructions that the fabric would be slightly sticky when the freezer paper was peeled off, but it wasn't at all much to my relief.

Despite regularly visiting France for many years, we have never actually been there on the big national holiday of Bastille Day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille Prison in Paris during the French Revolution. So we were delighted to find that our recent trip co-incided with this national celebration.

Being France, naturally, the local markets continued as normal, it would never do to be unable to get your fresh croissants or baguettes now would it?

Bastille Day rider

The shoppers were a bit different from the norm though :)

Bastille Day line-up

I certainly felt very scruffy in my summer t-shirt and skirt compared to these glorious outfits!

So, that's what I have been up to that was New to Me in July. Now it's your turn, as ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Grab button for Celtic Thistle Stitches

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Check out the other links and leave a comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on July 31st, so you have plenty of time to try something new and link up and join the party :)

If you have been working on a Christmas in July project too, don't forget to link up to this month's

which is hosted by the lovely Nicole at Modern Handcraft, you will love her tutorial for a Christmas Advent Chain!

Friday 18 July 2014

Ho,Ho, Ho and on We Sew July

Well, the good news is that it is only July, the bad news is that it is all downhill from here on in as far as getting ahead for Christmas is concerned! Don't say that I didn't warn you :) In an attempt to have you all organised for Christmas today's post comes courtesy of the monthly link party.

Due to holiday, hen parties and sundry other distractions my own Christmas preparations have been rather limited this month, I am willing to admit. I have though, managed to make one Christmas-themed placemat for my son and his wife-to-be, and once I get some more of the plain red fabric I might even manage to make the second of the set of two!

Spin Placemat
You can find the pattern for the placemat here

Hopefully, there will be a partner to join it soon!

This month's link party is hosted by the very talented Nicole, at Modern Handcraft, if you haven't already come across Nicole, she is definitely worth checking out. Modern Handcraft is a treasure trove of great tutorials and fabulous projects. I think you will love what Nicole has come up with for the link party!

As ever there is a great prize waiting for one lucky linker, this time it is this lovely scrap pack courtesy of the lovely Alice at Backstitch, one of my favourite online retailers :) Last month's winner of the mini charm pack was the very talented Carla who linked up her Christmas quilt.

If you are new to the party, let me fill you in on the details. Paula and I decided at the end of last year that Christmas 2014 was going to be different, this time round there would be no late-night sewing sessions or frantic last-minute dashes to the Post Office. This time we were going to work on Christmas and Holiday projects throughout the year so come December we would be so organised we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves :)

We decided to share our plans with our blogging friends and invite them to be organised too, with a monthly Link Party to provide a gentle nudge. In addition, each month we have a giveaway prize for one lucky linker!

So, if you want to be in with a chance of winning this to help you get ahead of the pack with your Christmas crafting head on over to Modern Handcraft and link up your Christmas and Holiday projects for July.

As ever we are very grateful to all of our lovely sponsors, who have generously provided a lovely variety of prizes to tempt you.

Fluffy Sheep QuiltingRay Stitch HaberdasheryBackstitch

Quiet PlayQuilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter ShopPlush Addict LogoPosie: Rosy Little Things

Friday 4 July 2014

Testing, testing, 1,2,3

A while ago, Leanne, posted a request for pattern testers for her Spin Placemat pattern. Given that our kitchen placemats have definitely seen better days I signed up and then promptly went on holiday and forgot all about it.

Well, a very polite nudge from Leanne later, I finally got around to pulling out the fabric for the placemat and decided that the kitchen mats could survive a bit longer, what I really needed was Christmas placemats :) I had taken part in a Christmas fabric layer cake swap a long time ago and still had several of the layer cake squares sitting in my stash, and as Leanne's pattern called for 5" and 3" squares for the pinwheel blocks this was the ideal use for them.

Spin Placemat

Teamed with some plain red for the borders also from the stash, I was good to go.

The pattern was very straightforward and with a finished size of 12.5" x 18" the placemat is substantial enough to cope with the placings for a banquet never mind a casual kitchen supper :)

Spin Placemat back

I found some Christmas fabric in my stash for the backing and some old Kate Spain  ( I think) fabric bought in Latvia for the binding, so it was a very economical project all round.

The pattern directions are for 4 placemats, but I am thinking of just making one more and giving them to our son and his fiancee who will be celebrating their first Christmas as a Mr and Mrs this year.

If you need to refresh your table linens or are looking for a quick gift to make for a housewarming, check out Leanne's pattern at her Craftsy store

As it happens, I have been taking part in an online discussion about using pattern testers and it has been an interesting topic. Long-term readers of this blog will perhaps remember the Zakka-style SAL that swept quilting blogland and the problems that we had with the number of errors in the book. Well, it seems that this was not a lone issue, as a couple of the participants in the discussion are taking part in the Gypsy Wife QAL, where it has become pretty obvious that the pattern was never tested before publication. You can read comments on the problems here and here One of the questions we were asking ourselves is "are quilters too polite for their own good?" Should we be making more of a fuss when we come across an expensive book or pattern that is littered with errors? If individuals like Leanne, can take the time to have their patterns tested before putting them up for sale, then why can't the great and the good of the quilting world do the same? Are we all so blinded by the reputation of the author/s that we are reluctant to voice a negative opinion?

I am sure you will all have an opinion on this topic, and I look forward to hearing it. In the meantime check out Leanne's pattern, which has been consumer-tested and passed with flying colours :)

Linking up to


Tuesday 1 July 2014

Fabric Cards from scraps

If you are racing to get your projects finished before the FAL Q2 deadline, then maybe you shouldn't read this, but if you are so organised that they are all done and dusted already then pop on over to The Littlest Thistle to check out my tutorial for Fabric Cards from scraps!

We'll get that scrap pile reduced somehow :)

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