Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Busy as a bee!

The last month has been busy!  Magazine commissions, patchwork classes, school holidays and general family duties have meant I have not had much time to update my blog at all.  By way of an apology I am planning on making my most recent little house and tree pattern free to use on my blog.  Bear with me and I will have it up and available as soon as I get my butt into gear!



This cute mini was recently returned to me and I am pleased to say it was featured in the latest issue of British Patchwork & Quilting.  It is foundation paper pieced mainly and was fun to make.







The whole family went bowling and Emma tested out my new work stool while I got on with some secret sewing!
ten pin bowling
spin!


secret quilting























Friday, 3 March 2017

Some new news

Well last week our quilting class moved to a brand new venue.  It is a beautiful, large room which you can hire in the lovely Kilmarnock train station.   Here are some photos of the ladies in action.  The local sewing shop is sadly closing down in May.  The owner is taking her well deserved retirement.  She has actually joined the quilting class too!

ladies hard at work 
beautiful little teapots
I have also been busy with magazine commissions.  I am very pleased to say that I had my first commission published in the wonderful Love Patchwork & Quilting
 magazine.  A cute, inspiring Spring mini quilt for your wall.


I love the way they have photographed this cute mini.  The magazine is available now and it is issue 45 if you want to check out the pattern with the fancy flange binding tutorial too.




Friday, 27 January 2017

Showing off their work

I am still teaching patchwork in my local sewing and knitting shop.  The students in my class have been busy on all kinds of projects since before Christmas.  On Wednesday I got to see some beautiful works in progress by them, which I would love to share with you!


Sandra is just finishing off the binding on her wonderful Kaleidoscope quilt.  Isnt' it gorgeous?  It is huge and heavy but I just love the monochrome colour choice and the effect it gives. (sorry the photo was taken on my mobile so is a little blurry).









Sandra's Kaleidoscope quilt 


Jenny brought in her take on a Bargello quilt to show everyone.  Sandra and Jenny got together outwith class and helped each other with this technique.(isn't that wonderful? Friendships made through a love of quilting!)  I adore Jenny's fabric choices and colours.  She gets to keep this one all for herself! 
Gorgeous pinks, greens and blues - love it!

Mandy has actually finished her Kaleidoscope quilt.  I just haven't managed to get a good of photo of it yet!  Here is a photo of one of her little dogs making itself quite at home on it!  Mandy made this amazing quilt for her boy and is finding it hard to part with.

look at that dug! 


Last but by no means least is Elizabeth.  I am really looking forward to seeing her finished Kaleidoscope quilt.  The fabrics are gorgeous greens and citrus greens and I am sure it is going to look stunning.  In the meantime here is a lovely quilted panel she is working on.  Elizabeth is turning these panels into a patchwork bag.  I will update you on the progress next week. 
loooooove these fabrics!

I really can't tell you how proud I am of these students.  They are challenging themselves with their quilting and trying new techniques, fabrics, colours and patterns all the time.  They have made quilts for themselves and ones which have been gifted to others.  It really is such a pleasure to be among these quilters and talk about all things patchwork each week.  It is my little sewing and quilting sanctuary! 

Where is your sewing sanctuary?  Who do you quilt or sew with?  Tell me about it! 

Collette x

Sunday, 15 January 2017

keeping it real - where I have been.....

I am currently sitting here contemplating what to write for a blog post.  Throughout my whole blogging journey, I have always sought to establish genuine relationships with my followers.  My blog is by no means a numbers or stats game.  I do not really track how many people read this little corner of my world or how many hits, conversions etc I get.  Maybe some people may view that as foolish and not very good business sense at all?  I really don't care though, because I am all about keeping my love and passion for quilting real. Showing the good quilting with the bad.  Sharing the good times and the bad times.

So this brings me onto sharing why I haven't been around much lately.  My husband, Colin has been experiencing some scary severe anxiety and episodes of derealization.  This seemed to get a little better with medication, however, it wasn't long until he was heading down into the abyss again soon after New Year.  Fortunately he has been referred to the appropriate care team and will soon be receiving appropriate treatment and talking therapies.  This has meant a huge change in circumstances for us as a family.  He is unable to work at the moment, and anyone who is self employed, knows this can be very tricky indeed.

I stopped quilting for a few weeks there, hence the lack of quilty posts.  Times like these really put the world in perspective!  Thankfully we are beginning to see light at the end of the dark tunnel.  I am beginning to get back into my commissioned projects this week and may even use Colin's photography skills to take some good photos of a few of my quilts for pdf patterns I hope to publish soon!

I just wanted to update everyone and be open about this time in our lives.  One in four of us in the UK will suffer a mental health problem at some stage in our lives.  I had post natal depression just 3 months after Jacob was born.  Quilting is my personal therapy and meditation.  I don't share this information about our situation for sympathy or to be doom or gloom.   Quite the contrary!  I want you to know that from terrible suffering of the mind can come great things.  I discovered quilting as a result of suffering from post natal illness.  Our family has become so much closer over these last few weeks of Colin's illness.  As have Colin and I.  Sadly there is still a huge amount of stigma around the issue of mental health and wellbeing.  Colin and I have both suffered this kind of stigma first hand.  This is why I feel it is vital I share this story here on my blog.  The world of quilting can be very positive and viewed through rose tinted spectacles at times.  This is a good thing but life isn't always like that.  The discovery of quilting was a positive thing to come out of my illness.  Now quilting is something that helps maintain good mental health in me.  If more people are open about these benefits personally or for those around them, then perhaps we can help break down the stigma and encourage more people to take up quilting or share with those around us who are maybe finding life a little hard and could do with a distraction from their problems.

So even although it is still very, very early days for him, I just wanted to share that out of these horrid situations can come better things.  Things you never knew would be around the corner.  I never knew I would be a quilter all those years ago when ill.  Who knows what is around that corner for Colin?  I am thankful for every reader or follower I have here.  I can only hope that my sharing of our lives can maybe encourage or help someone out there today.

Friday, 9 December 2016

English paper piecing tutorial and what's in the box free templates



As promised here is my little tutorial along with a link for the templates for my, ' What's in the box?' English Paper Pieced design. 




Some useful tips

  • It is very simple and can be enlarged or reduced in size as you see fit.
  •  To achieve the 3d look I suggest you choose a darkish toned centre and have at least one very light coloured section.  (Mine is cream in my example). 
  • Clover wonder clips are pretty handy to hold the pieces in place when sewing. 
Your templates are available to download here.  Please open with a pdf viewer such as Adobe Reader.  Remember to print at actual size and check the test square measures 1 inch.  
Cut out templates along the solid, black line.  When cutting fabric out for the templates, please allow at least a 1/4 inch seam allowance on the fabric. 

If you are unfamiliar with EPP (English paper piecing), please see my tutorial and video

1. Baste all templates to your fabric pieces using your preferred basting method.  I used glue basting for these shapes.
2. Take your centre shape and one of the top pieces and whipstitch together as shown in below photo a. 
photo a
3. Take the other top piece and repeat step 2.
4.  See photo b below and sew the two top pieces together where they meet in the centre.  Gently bend the centre section to allow for easier sewing.  
photo b
5.  Take one of your longer bottom section, making sure you have aligned this correctly with the bottom edge of the centre section.  Whipstitch in place as in photo c.
photo c
6.  Take the other long section and repeat step 5. 
7.  Sew both sections together as you can see in the photo d below.
photo d
8.  You have completed your first shape.  Layout as desired and stitch together. 




Enjoy!
Collette x





Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Latest reveals of published works


Finally I can reveal some projects that have I had been quietly beavering away on a few months back.  They have since been published and I am very honoured to share them with you!

First up I made a charm pack friendly table runner for British Patchwork and Quilting.  I used a Moda charm pack by Kate Spain, from her Aria fabric line.  The colours in this line are beautiful.  Lovely and soft greens, blues, reds and the prints are so pretty!  This is a beginner friendly pattern.  I love making patterns for beginners.  We all were in quilting at one point or another and it is great to have straightforward, achieveable patterns to start with.

I love the photography of the table runner.  It really shows off the beautiful fabric.

I was also fortunate enough to have two projects published in this month's issue of Quilt Now.  I made a table runner with  big and little geese and a quilt based on building blocks.

Both were fun projects to make and I was fortunate enough to use some wonderful fabrics for each.




The building blocks quilt is a great pattern for showcasing fussy cut prints or those precious fabrics we all have that we all find difficult to cut up into tiny little patchwork pieces!  It is fun and can be improvisational too. I love the greens in this fabric line!  Oh and being a frugal quilter I used the remainder of the fat eighths to make a scraptastic binding.  I love the quilting on this one.  I used my go to thread, Aurifil 50wt and a serpentine stitch.  I then added a little green/blue handquilting just because I wanted to!



Follow the geese is a large table runner using little geese and larger geese.  In this pattern I show you how to use a no waste method for making a large number of geese in the same fabrics.  The fabric by Cotton & Steel is perfect for this icy inspired blue look! I quilted this using, yes you have guessed it, Aurifil 50wt and this time I added a grid pattern which is fun and simple to do.

Apologies the photos are not the best.  I took them direct from the magazines!

I hope you like the patterns and might even try some of them out! If you do please feel free to share what you make with me.  If you have Instagram then tag me and I will pop over for a nosey! @poppypoochie.  (link in my sidebar).
Collette x




Thursday, 10 November 2016

slippers, scrap packs and teepees

Well what a few weeks it has been!  I have been ultra busy with quilting and have several deadlines looming.  More about those in a few months time!  I really hope you like what I have been working on!


scuse the odd socks!

I turned the ripe old age of 41 years too.  This was my first birthday since my mum passed away, so I felt a little sad.  These cute slippers put a little smile on my face though!

Of course all that quilting means a fluffy, oozy bobbin case in desperate need of several cleans.  I like to use the little brush that came with my machine, however, it doesn't get into all the little nooks and crannies.  So I will often get a cotton bud or two to get into those hard to reach areas.!



remember to remove your bobbin case when cleaning!


The wonderfully talented Lucie Summers was selling some of her gorgeous, screen printed fabric scrap packs on instagram last week.  I couldn't resist and bought two.  I am making something cute and fun with these.





stunning!
I also managed to spend a Saturday evening playing with illustrator again.  I haven 't managed much pattern design or drawing lately due to deadlines so I enjoyed have this little bit of fun! I created a cute little teepee! 
fun!


Oh and of course, in other news Trump became president! But the less said about that the better I think!  
Collette x