Great Expectations…

Again I meant to blog ages ago but things got a little busy… Firstly I was preparing for the arrival of my little one, who in great expectations of her arrival I got busy creatively, of course!

Preparing her nursery we decided that we would have a central theme of giraffes. Neither my husband nor I are tall but perhaps that is the appeal!

We decided on yellow and grey for her room and I set to work on creating a quilt, cushion, lamp and a giraffe themed mobile.

The quilt and cushion came about following another lesson at Hometown in Rochester. This time the workshop was entitled cookie cutter quilts. The idea being to create a quilt with appliqué shapes made from cookie cutters!

I set about finding animal shapes including a giraffe, elephant, a hippo and a flamingo…. Yes a flamingo.

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I kept the central colours as yellow and grey to match the nursery but I went all out in choosing the colours for the animals. Here I was finally able to raid that massive hoard of fabric, I had been harbouring for an undefined project.

I have to say, the Liberty print giraffe has to be my favourite! Though I definitely have a soft spot for those flamingos! One the fabrics used was one of my very first purchases. Knew it would come in handy one day.

I then made a matching cushion, this time the hippo got the Liberty effect!

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The mobile again was created using the cookie cutter shape and then stuffed with left over quilt filling ripped up. I then used ribbons to attach the giraffes to two different sized embroidery hoops, which were in turn covered in ribbons. I fastened them with double sided tape that is used in lampshade making.

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Finally the finishing touch, a giraffe lampshade.

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When we finished decorating the room, I found the circus quilt I made a few years ago with amazing circus fabric, we hung this up on the grey wall. As you can see the colours really pop!

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Anyway, slightly earlier than planned our little one arrived in May. I am doing my best to look after her and make time for sewing. However it is not surprising that my productivity levels have somewhat reduced!

I do, however, hope that I will be able to pass on my love of sewing to my little one when she is a little bit older! But for now I’m just getting her used to the soothing sounds of the sewing machine.

Xxx

QuiltedBird on Tour – Frome & Amsterdam

The Quilted Bird is nothing, if not dedicated and a little sneaky!

Amsterdam

New KLM flights have been flying from Manston in Kent to Amsterdam this year, so Husband and I set off on a weekend away. We arrived in a very sunny Amsterdam, middle of a heatwave… and I’m still in quilting mode (never out of it really!). Having done a little sneaky bit of research online before we left, I suggested we take a walk around town…

What’s this I say… Why it’s a quilt shop… What are the odds?

Husband not impressed 🙂 sneak wife one… Husband nil!

BirdBlocks shop

Fortunately he was patient enough for me to have a look around, he is a quilter’s husband after all. Birdblocks was a shop crammed with vibrant fabrics! Too exciting for words! Alongside the beautiful Moda, Michael Miller and batiks, there were other more unusual fabrics including some with glitter.

I love the little block design on the shop’s labels.

The shop had some beautiful packs made up, so I selected one of these and some interesting looking batiks. They had a wonderful quilt hanging up that had a scene of Amsterdam on it… Was tempted to buy the pattern but you know I have more than enough quilts on the go already!!!

Birdblocks label

Happy with my purchases in my hand, we could move on 🙂 I am sure husband is plotting revenge… Maybe a sports museum somewhere??

The rest of the holiday passed with no other sneaky behaviour… Except maybe the purchase of a Dutch Miffy… Well when in the Netherlands….

Frome, Somerset

A couple of weekends ago we had the privilege to visit friends in Wiltshire and thought we would spend Saturday afternoon in near by Frome. Frome is a beautiful town with little side streets hiding lots of interesting independent shops.

I had heard lots of exciting things about the town and was looking forward to nosing around the shops. Catherine Hill has lots of interesting shops, lots of arts and crafts, as well as vintage and independent clothes shops thrown into the mix.

Catherine HillFrome street

I popped into Millie Moon, a small haberdashery, with some quirky fabrics on sale. I purchased some bits and looked at their course list which had lots of interesting sessions coming up… Though a 6 hour round trip might be a bit extreme for me! But if you live in the area check it out!

Further up the road, Mary Kilvert has a shop selling her fantastic sheep design on mugs, tea towels and bags as well as many other of her own designs. The sheep design came from a children’s book Mary wrote.

Mary Kilvert Tote Bag, Copyright Mary Kilvert

Mary Kilvert Tote Bag, Copyright Mary Kilvert

I loved the shop, and couldn’t leave without a little purchase. My sheep tote bag has attracted lots of attention and I love telling the story about the sheep. You can buy Mary Kilvert goodies from her website http://www.marykilvert.com/

We then ventured to the other side of town which has lots of fantastic interior design shops giving us lots of ideas for the house. The independent clothes shops has some fantastic statement clothes, one particular dress I am still dreaming about today!

We finished the afternoon at the Black Swan Arts & Craft centre which again had lots of quirky pieces including lots of independent designers.

Independent shops seem to be making a comeback in recent years and I love getting presents (both for me and others 🙂 ) that might be a little different and not so easily found.

I would thoroughly recommend an afternoon spent in this town!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

Whilst I am like everyone, a little sad that summer seems to be coming to an end, it has been a good one.

I have been busy working and finishing a couple more quilts which is why I have been a bit quiet. This includes the 2CV quilt depicting a summer holiday in beautiful France. The panels were bought last autumn at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexander Palace. I loved them and particularly the little 2CV car that features throughout. You can get this fabric from http://www.boutis.com/ or they quite often visit the UK’s biggest quilt shows such as Ally Pally and the Festival of quilts.

2CV  Quilt Completed

I decided to embroider details on the panels to make features stand out for example the sun, trees, flowers and of course the Eiffel Tower that features in the middle panel. To finish I machine quilted, I’m getting better at it, which means there is fractionally less swearing that goes on!

Eiffel Tower and 2CV

I won’t lie the millions of French knots used for flower details drove me nuts! But think it was worth it in the end. I also ‘drove’ my husband nuts by calling the quilt my CV2 quilt 🙂 I know what it is really called but didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to annoy!

Cows and 2CV

 

We both love the finish article and will be keeping it to display in our house.

Another project I have been working on is a baby quilt for good friends of ours who had their first baby recently. The gender was to be kept a surprise until the birth, so I chose neutral green colours with some funky fabrics in between. My favourite is the sheep fabric! It is awesome.

If you look closely you’ll see windmill shapes in the quilt.

Baby Quilt with sheep!

Now we are entering autumn I am hoping my productivity levels might go up. Not least because quilting when it is cold is an added bonus as it keeps you warm 🙂

I am sure I don’t need to tell you that no sooner were the two quilts finished, I was straight onto my next projects. On involving thousands of tiny squares and my first paper pieced hexagon number… Watch this space!

Onwards Autumn…. May you contain many more quilting antics!