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For my mum

Due to a somewhat unconventional upbringing, I never studies any textiles at school. The first time I used a sewing machine was at 23! I was going through a difficult patch in my life and was still living at home. My mum was desperately trying to find anything to distract me so she took me out bought me a £20 sewing machine, a book on basic patchwork and a few fat quarters. From that point on I’ve been hooked. Learning to sew was the perfect distraction and as my sewing has improved so has my confidence and wellbeing.

I knew I wanted to make her something to say thank you and when I came across Fabric Freedoms range of fabrics based on the designs of William Morris, I knew they’d be perfect. My mum adores William Morris designs, I’d already made her a cushion from somethings similar in the past.

This is the result.

It’s the first time I’ve made a quilt not using a pattern. I based the central cross and dot part on something I’d seen before but worked out the sizes myself and designed my own border.

I quilted in the ditch around the central motifs and around the border.

The final design ended up at 58″ square, perfect for curling up under on the sofa of an evening.

I just hope she likes it!

Sorry for the abysmal photos, it’s grey and raining outside and I don’t have anywhere big enough to hang quilts to photograph.

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Recently

I am a terribly unreliable blogger. I have many posts I mean to write but I forget to take the photographs or never quite get around to it. It’s always the thing on the To Do list that I don’t quite get to.

I’ve made another quilt.

It measures 55″x45″. I love the contrast between the mostly monochromatic fabrics with the one striking accent colour. It’s also the first time I’ve ever appliquéd anything. It took me a while to get the stitch set up right and there were many terse words exchanged with my machine but I got there.

I’m hoping to hang it at the top of our stairs if I can figure out how and can persuade the boyfriend to lend me his drill. He’s rather averse to putting holes in the wall but I’m sure I can talk him round.

I’ve been doing a bit more organising. I had so many boxes and random spools of thread lying around that I could never find the best match.  So I treated myself to an organiser.

I could stare at it for hours. It’s a thread rainbow! That’s a 120 spool organiser and it still doesn’t quite fit all the ones I own. Not sure how I managed to acquire quite that many :S  And yes, I do have a bright pink office!

I’m forever losing pins and bits of thread onto the floor along with my magical disappearing seam ripper. I must own about 6 of the things and yet when I need one (which is frequently) they’ve all vanished. Thus, this was born:

I used this pattern (link is to the pdf file). It has a removable bag for putting thread ends and other generic rubbish in, lots of little pouches for all my tools and a pincushion on the top. There’s a cup of rice in the bottom of the pincushion which weighs the whole thing down and stops it sliding off the corner of the work surface. So far it’s working well. I’m hoping it brings an end to painful feet-pin interactions!

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Eek!

I have always been very jealous of all the amazing sewing retreats and meet ups that seem to be going on in America all the time. I would love to be able to attend one, unfortunately the cost of a flight makes for a rather expensive weekends sewing. I was browsing t’interweb the other day, no doubt when I was meant to be working, when I came across mention of a retreat being hosted by the lovely people of Fat Quarterly being held in London. Squeeeeeeee!

I know I’m rather late to the party here, been as the retreat is at the beginning of June and people have been booked on and preparing for months. I spent a while weighing up whether I had the confidence (and the money) to attend but a post on the Flickr group inspired me and I bought my ticket last night 🙂 Now I can’t wait! I need to find myself a hotel and steal back my more portable sewing machine from my mum but I will be there nerves and all.