Born to (have a) Shop!

I have had an Etsy shop since 2009. Originally I made jewellery with buttons and charms but once I came to Canada in 2011, I lost the love for making jewellery and my love for all things fabric came back to me – I spent most of my Art A-level working with textiles: screen printing, lino cutting, dressmaking. I carried on the shop for a while but my heart wasn’t in it so when I went away to get married in 2013 I decided to close for a while and have a rejig.

Well, it’s now a quarter of the way through 2015 and my Etsy store is still in vacation mode and I just haven’t had the motivation to get it running, even though I felt like I should on a number of occasions! Once Etsy went public recently it made me think about it even more and finally decided that maybe Etsy isn’t the place for me anymore so, I decided to embark on a new adventure and am very happy to present my new store!

You can get directly to it by clicking the shop link in the header, nothing in it is actually for sale yet, but i’m getting there!

Shop Announcement

What do you think of the shop? Is there anything you’d like to see for sale? Don’t forget I’m always up for commissions!

Catnap Cat Quilt

I’ve wanted to make a cat quilt for a long time. Being a devoted fur baby mama (aka. crazy cat lady) I thought it was only right to combine my love of quilting with my love of kitty cats so when Lizzy House created her Catnap fabric line I knew the time was right!

Catnap Ears

I used the very simple cat block pattern from Elizabeth Hartman’s site and got to work. I had a few stops and starts while other quilts, commissions, swaps, visitors, dental surgery, all jumped the line but finally it was finished and I love it! I wanted something simple to show off the fabrics and I think this worked really well.

Catnap Quilt - Ladder

Catnap Quilt Detail

I quilted it with an all over free-motion swirly line ending in a butterfly.

Catnap Quilt - Butterfly Detail

The fur babies approved so it was definitely a success!

Catnap Quilt - Munchkin

Catnap Quilt - Monster

What have you made with ‘Catnap’? Do you know of any other cat theme fabric lines/quilting patterns I have missed?

Sashiko

I’ve had an Olympus Sashiko sampler lying around for about a year but I’ve had so many other hand sewing projects to complete I kept putting it off. I finally finished a big secret squirrel hand sewing project a few weeks ago and after a week or so off my hands were itching to start something new…. cue my Sashiko sampler!

Sashiko 1

If you haven’t heard of it before, Sashiko comes from Northern Japan and means “little stabs” it was originally invented for warmth and to strengthen the fabric of work clothes and housewares to make them last longer. It consists of various intricate repeating patterns sewn in a simple running stitch. The pattern of my sampler is is Asa-no-ha or “Hemp Leaf”. I chose to do it in red on the navy fabric and I love how it turned out. It’s not perfect but I’m definitely up for doing more and getting some more practice in!

Sashiko 2

I have a couple of books, Sashiko Style and The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook which are both great resources. I love the history behind it and how it is beautiful and functional. I definitely have the resources to try drawing my own from the book but I do also like the simplicity of following a preprinted design – is that lazy?

Sashiko 3

I’m going back to the UK in a few weeks and will be spending a lot of my time alone on planes and trains and really need a hand sewing project to keep me occupied. Perhaps I’ll try drawing up a few patterns before I go to keep me out of mischief!

Have you tried Sashiko? Do you draw your own patterns or use preprinted samplers? I’d love to hear any tips if you have them!

In Flight QAL – Progress Report

It’s been a bit of a crazy week here but I have had time for some quilty finishes! Yay for me! I haven’t done any housework or laundry but I have made stuff, my priorities are definitely correct!

Here are my next two blocks for the In Flight Quilt along, the seagull and the curlew.

Seagull | In Flight QAL

Curlew | In Flight QAL

I am still totally loving this pattern and urge all quilters out there, whether you have paper foundation piecing experience or not to give this one a go, it’s soo satisfying!

Are you joining the quilt along? How are you finding it? I’d love to hear!

Quilt-a-phobia

I have a phobia of quilting….. not a phobia as such, I’m not scared of it, but I always put off quilting a project for fear of ruining all that hard work put on piecing the quilt top. I worry that once I get the thing in my sewing machine I will somehow end up with something terrible. Which is stupid because when I do finally pull my finger out and start quilting, I love it! I am able to look past the few minor messes I make in favour of the piece as a whole….

Baby Clothes Memory Quilt 1

This quilt was my version of a memory quilt made from baby clothes. The thought of quilting the 64″ square on my machine was so so scary, what if I messed up and ruined the baby clothes? What if I did a really bad job and the recipient hated it? What if I actually did a good job – yeah right!! When I finally started quilting (a good few weeks after I had finished the top) I tried to do something ‘easy’ and simple and it completely back fired on me. The unpicking began and I was freaking out! I contacted a long arm quilter to see if she would do it for me but then decided that I needed to push past the fear and have another go, and I’m SO glad I did.

Baby Clothes Memory Quilt 2

I did free motion pebbles all over the quilt and not only completed it, I actually enjoyed it! I was looking forward each day to coming back and doing more! I need to remember this feeling for my future projects to remember that I CAN do it and a little imperfection is part of the charm!

I plan to share the whole baby clothes memory quilt in another post.

Do you have any quilting or crafty phobias? How to you overcome them? I’d love to know! I know a big glass of vino often helps!