Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Thanks so much for your help!!

Thank you all so much for your heart warming donations and participation in our first { Modern } Relief fundraiser in support of World Vision’s efforts to end hunger!

We have now collected an amazing $5700.00!!

Tonight at 12:00pm PST (12/1/10) we will officially close this raffle, however you can locate information regarding World Vision efforts and how you can continue to support their mission throughout the entire year through their website at

We will be announcing the winners and Grand Total of the Raffle within the next 2 weeks!

Thanks again!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Modern Relief.

{ Modern } Relief is a simple concept. We are Modern Quilters uniting through the holiday season by bringing the warmth of our quilts and the warmth of your hearts together for others in need. This season, 2010, we will be supporting World Vision. We hope YOU will join us in taking a stand against hunger by participating in our fundraising raffle. Please let me introduce to you World Vision.

World Vision is leading the effort to end hunger.

In the next seven seconds, another hungry child will die.

World Vision is on the front lines of the fight against hunger. Today — and every day — we’ll distribute nearly 600 metric tons of emergency food aid, nourishing the hungry. We’ll give local farmers the seeds, tools, and training they need to grow their own food and feed their own communities. And we will plead the cause of the hungry in halls of power all over the world.

Please join us in creating a world without hunger — a world in which no child dies for want of nutritious food. This site offers in-depth information on hunger, its causes, and how it can be stopped. You can learn more about key hunger-related issues and share what you discover with friends and family. Use this link to begin your journey.

Please meet the members of this season’s event and view their donations that they have generously provided to this fundraiser raffle.

Heather from { House } of A La Mode

Amy from Amy's Creative Side

Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson!

Nettie from a quilt is nice

Aneela from Comfortstitching

Brioni from Flossyblossy

John from Quilt Dad

Kate from One Flew Over

Ashley from Film in the Fridge

Katy from i'm a ginger monkey

Tacha from Hanies

Amanda from Sasikirana Handmade

Jennifer & Jessica from Twin Fibers

Nova from a cuppa and a catch up

Ryan from I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts

Julie from Jaybird QuiltsJacquie from Tallgrass Prairie Studio

Alissa from Handmade by Alissa

The Guidelines:

- To enter this raffle please click on the PayPal button, this will bring you to the { Modern } Relief PayPal account.
- The cost to enter this Raffle is $10.00 per entry.
- Entries are unlimited, so please feel free to give till your heart’s content.
- Winners of the raffle will be chosen by a random generator on December 1st, 2010.
- Each { Modern } Relief Quilter participating in this event will post the entire list of winners for the donated quilts on their blogs during the second week of December and the grand total of our contributions to this cause.
- Additionally, they will also contact their personal winners at that time too.

We THANK you!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Wow - i wasn't expecting to be AWOL as long as it turned out to be.

I have got so much to share so i think I'm just going keep everything short so that the post doesn't get so long that you fall asleep halfway through, and i can get up to date quickly!
This is what has been keeping me occupied.

Fat Quarterly.

The tree skirt was made for the FQ Holiday Issue/All about Christmas Swap. Tree skirts aren't that common in the UK so i jumped at the chance of making one. I am pretty chuffed with it and it now resides with Kendra, and thankfully she loves it.

If you fancy making your own, want some inspiration for cute things to decorate your home for the Holidays, or wanting ideas for Christmas gifts, the Holiday Special Issue has gone on sale today and is available here.

Doll Quilt Swap 9.

The first pic is the doll quilt i sent to Cherri and the second pic is what i received from Upstatelisa. I LOVE it and squealed quite a lot when it arrived, and have spent many an hour stroking it. Thanks Lisa!

Urban Home Goods Swap.

Again, the first pic is what i sent to Isa and the second pic is what i received! My partner Kellie lives in New Zealand and made these wonderful things for me during the earthquakes. Thank you so much Kellie!

Birthday Trip

It was my birthday in early October and we spent 2 days in the most beautiful part of England, Northumberland. We spent Friday at my 1st favourite place in the world (Lindisfarne Castle) and Saturday at my 2nd favourite place in the world (Cragside).

We stayed at an absolutely beautiful B&B and spent the evening with my oldest friend and her husband and their 7 month old Airedale terrier called Connie (the doggy in the picture), eating fish and chips straight out the box in front of the log fire. Doesn't get much better than that!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Another thank you...and a winner!!

Thank you for all the lovely and generous comments. They made my heart sing. You all know how to make a girl feel loved and for that, i love you all back!!!
I really wish i had a pile of fabric for all of you.

Anyhow, the random number generator has picked a winner...

...and that winner is Reinojacheguei!!

Thank you for taking the time to comment and I will e-mail you for your address so i can get the fabrics in the post to you!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Giveaway and Thank You!

Fancy some fabric?

My 1 year blogaversary (how do you spell that???) passed without affair as I’m not one who celebrates anniversaries in a big way.

I started my blog and joined Flickr just over a year ago, and what a year! I’ve had a really rough few years and i think i can say that the last year has probably been the best year i have ever had (Well, except if I’d have won the lottery or something!).

Being part of the online community has been the most amazing experience for me. Quilting (certainly in the UK) is a fairly solitary hobby and I think we now take the Internet for granted, but to inspire and be inspired by quilters all over the world is just the most amazing thing ever. I have met people how i never would have got the opportunity to meet otherwise, joined a ton of online quilting bees, co-founded Fat Quarterly, and the confidence i have gained from the wonderfully sweet and funny comments both here and on Flickr has been immense and made me realise that actually I’m not too bad at this quilting malarkey!

So rather than celebrating an anniversary i would prefer to say Thank You, and what better way to do that than with fabric.
There’s nothing especially fancy in the pile, i just picked a few FQs from my local fabric shop. There’s a bit of Anna Maria Horner, Alexander Henry, a bit of what i think might be Tanya Whelan, some other random fabrics that played nicely with them, and the bottom ones are long quarters of Tilda fabric.

If you fancy this little pile then just leave me a lil note saying whatever you fancy by the end of the 14th August, and I’ll randomly pick a winner on Sunday 15th August.
If you fancy a 2nd entry, sign up to follow my blog or add it to your blog reader then leave me anther comment to tell me.
Those of you who have already left comments previously, you will automatically get an extra entry – as an extra thank you goes to you!!!!

Friday, 30 July 2010

My favourite quilts.

1. My first quilt ever - re-bound, 2. My Cathedral window, 3. Grandmothers flower garden, 4. Triple Irish Chain with flowers 2, 5. Hand pieced hexagon pinwheel, 6. Orange and teal log cabin - done!, 7. Doll quilt so far..., 8. Triple Irish Chain with flowers 2, 9. Dresden cropped, 10. Josephs coat quilt top, 11. String X quilt top, 12. PP flowers on Kona snow

There is all sorts of things I wanted to blog about but they all went out of the window when I got sidetracked by the release of Issue 2 of Fat Quarterly (go have a look, as in my humble opinion it’s a good one!) and a blog post I read a couple of weeks ago. I can’t remember for the life of me where i read it (I suspect it was a link, from another link, from another link) but it got me thinking.

The lady said something along the lines of, her not understanding the current trend towards quick and easy quilts. It got me thinking a whole lot.

Now I do understand that quick and easy is good for the times that you need to make a quilt as a gift and you need something that doesn’t take 3 years to make, or you need a utility quilt, but on the whole i would absolutely say that I’m with her all the way.

In the 5 years ish since I started quilting I have made (or in the process of) around 45 quilts and I would say that they are pretty evenly spread between quick and easy, fairly easy but there was something slightly challenging about them, and difficult and time consuming. I’ve come to the conclusion probably it comes down to 2 things:

Are a ‘process’ or a ‘product’ quilter. Why do you quilt? Do you quilt because you find something very satisfying about the process or is the process a means to an end – the end being a finished quilt? Also, how confident are you about your abilities?

I already have more quilts that I know what to do with (and I’m sure that having them piled around the house must most definitely be fire hazard) and as I can’t stop making them, for me it is probably about the process. The maths, choosing the fabric, pressing it ready for cutting, cutting it into smaller pieces and then very carefully sewing the pieces back together. I guess for some the repetition would make them want to poke themselves in the eyes with a sharp stick but I love the repetition, the project being all consuming, and the meditative benefits. I am also pretty fortunate that i am not intimidated by very much (only curved seams!!!), I think because I am naive enough to think that i can actually pull just about anything off if I work hard enough at it.

Much more importantly though, the quilts that are my absolute favourites (and the ones I would grab and save if my house was on fire!) are the ones that have taken hours in the planning, the ones that i have painstakingly hand stitched or have challenged me in some way. Those are the ‘special’ ones that will be treasured forever.

Monday, 12 July 2010

It feels pretty good to finally be back on my feet after not feeling very well for the last 3 weeks or so - culminating in the mother of all viruses last week. I’ve spent much of the last 7 days laid on the sofa either sleeping, or watching the Crime and Investigation channel (just in case you’re wondering, i am a frustrated forensic scientist not an axe murderer!!!).
I had 6 days completely sewing free. 6 days! So you can appreciate just how bad i felt if fabric pursuits held zero interest!

Curly Boy has also had a bad bad dose of chicken pox and i can tell you that never in my life have i seen anyone with as many spots as he had! I think i was about 7 when i had it and do remember feeling quite crappy and having that chicken pox itching for days, but either the last 30 years have dulled the memories or he had a particularly bad dose!! Poor bugger. I have a picture of him covered in spots but i think he'll kill me if i show you!

Both us felt pretty good on Sunday so it was time to tidy up some the stuff that has just been dumped on the flat surfaces, fold and put away 2 weeks of laundry, boil wash the bedding (or maybe napalm might have been a better idea?), scrub the red cross off the door and do some bits of jobs related to some chimney work that’s been going on – namely remove the big pile of soot out of the dining room fireplace (including a poor dead bird that had dropped down) and clean the soot off the removed chimney pots stood in the back garden, as a lovely clean white cat....

Plus one sooty chimney pot....


Sunday, 20 June 2010

Some finishes!

I was too busy being all proud of myself for last post being within a week of the one before, that i forget to come back!

The sun was shining today so i took full advantage and took a couple of recent finishes on an outing. I only went to the local park but at least it's further than most quilts get to go!

First up is the string X quilt. My Euro Bee buddies made a few blocks for this and i attacked the rest like a woman possessed. I've managed to use just about all my small scraps and strips on this so the only fabric i had to buy was the brown. I love scrap quilts.
Actually this has been finished for about a month but there isn't enough light to photograph it when i get home from work and sods law that either the weather is dreary on a weekend, or it's sunny and I'm busy.

Edited to add: I got the tutorial here!

The second one is the Josephs coat quilt. This has been a real labour of love and sometimes i didn't feel as if i was ever going to get there. Every time i counted the blocks i still had 5 to do. I'd count them a week later and they'd still be 5 left to do. Strange.
I started this what seems like eons ago for the quiltalong with Kellie.
I used a pile of Mendocine FQs and a pile of AMH Good folks with a few coordinating scraps chucked in. I love it more than life itself!

I've added them to the humongous pile of tops to be quilted and i estimate it will be 2014 by the time i get to these!!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

I'm back.

Are you impressed? And in around a week? I certainly am.

I needed to come back and show you what arrived ½ hour before i left on my holiday.
I didn’t have time to do anything with it before i left apart so i just shoved it in the car and it came on the grand tour with us!

Drum roll please. Here’s what i got for the Urban Home Goods Swap from Sheridan.

Now i know that i am very easily pleased as i love just about anything that involves sewing or fabric but just look at it!! It’s all the things that make me happy. Dresden, pillow, food (ok i know i can’t eat the pear but it is kinda food!), red, orange....but mostly....PINK!!!
Man i love pink.

The fab thing is that it even matches the DQS8 i got from Louise.

I have no idea whether Sheridan planned it that way, whether both girls KNOW me, or whether we were infact triplets separated at birth!

All i know is that I’m happy.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Nous sommes revenus de nos vacances en France!!

Title edited. Thanks to Sylvie :-)

For anyone who’s French that probably means "i have hairy legs" or something but to me it means “We are back from our holiday in France”.
(Well actually, i know it means that as i cheated and translated it in Google translator)

We’ve debated about going to France for a while but i don’t do ferries. I won’t go into detail as the reason i don’t do ferries as it might put you all off your dinner, but i don’t do them. The thought of it even makes me queasy!
Thanks to some friends who we went with who don’t do ferries either, we got to go on the Euro tunnel – yay!! I didn’t think that driving your car onto a train could be THAT cool but maybe we’re very easily pleased.

It’s really cool cos:

When you drive the ticket booth it already knows who you are by your car registration number. The screens said ‘Hello M. Greenberg’ (I’m not ‘M’ Greenberg but i assume the M was Monsieur as curly boy had done the booking)

You actually drive onto the train. It’s just like driving into a multi story car park!!

You sit in your car for the whole journey which means i didn’t have to pack up the big pile of papers and bits of fabric off my lap.

It only takes 35 minutes and then you’re are back out the other end!

We stayed at a gorgeous guest house the first night about an hour away from Calais

Stayed at the most wonderful cottage for 3 nights

Drove over this fab bridge

Ate fab French food, although there are no pics. I was too busy stuffing my face to pause to take a pic!

Went to Utah Beach where Curly Boys Granddad landed on D-Day and we also collected some sandy from Utah beach to send home to his rellies in the US.

.....and went to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Coleville Sur Mere.

Wow. I can honestly say that i don’t think i have ever felt the way i felt when i turned the corner and all those crosses (and the occasional Star of David dotted amongst them) were in front of us, laid out in perfectly aligned rows. I felt like i had been punched in the chest and for what seemed like an eternity i couldn’t get my breath.

When you hear stories of D-Day it is more often that told from the perspective of military strategy and for those of us that didn’t lose loved ones on that day it is easy to forget about the individuals. The sons, fathers, brothers etc. Each one of those men laid in the cemetery meant something to someone and their lives would be forever changed by the loss.

People talk and poets write about the futility of the war. I don’t think that there was anything futile about what all those men did on D-Day. They were fighting to protect the freedom of the British people and to liberate those who were already under occupation. I don’t pretend to know all the ins and out of WWII but i think that as a result of the D-Day landings they ultimately secured that freedom. That doesn’t sound futile to me.

WWII finished when my parents were still babies and 27 years before i was born but i think it is still very much ingrained in the psyche of Brits. Like the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ .....and bizarrely a tendency to hoard tinned food! When a friends granddad died in the early 90’s his cellar was absolutely full of tinned food. Much of which had gone out of date in the mid 60's!!

There are so many things to see and do in Normandy that unfortunately we ran out of time before we’d even scratch the surface. We’ll definitely be going back soon though.

I’ll be back here soon too, although i use the word ‘soon' in the loosest of senses! I want to tell what else we got up to on holiday, show you the loot i got and the wonderful contents of a package i received ½ hour before leaving for the holiday!!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

...and breathhhhhhh...

As you will already know, Fat Quarterly launched on the 27th April and we have been astounded and thrilled with just how wonderfully it has been received. Thank you to all of you from the bottom of our hearts!!

None of us are world renowned quilters nor do we think by any stretch of the imagination that we are experts. We are just normal gals and guy trying to make pretty things and to share how we go about it. Your comments – good are bad – are really valuable so if have any comments or suggestions just nip over to the website or the Flickr page and let us know what you think.

I have been snatching some time here and there and have got more to show you than i thought but i haven’t snapped any pics of some things so you’ll have to make do with what i was up to this weekend!

The deadline for the Urban Home Goods swap is looming so i dedicated this weekend to that. I had cut out everything i needed for it but for the last month it’s been pinned to the Moroccan rug wall hung on the wall in the hallway. Again i was given a partner with a very different style to me that really pushed me out of my comfort zone. After the initial obligatory “whatma-gonna-do” panic, i Googled ‘plant shapes’ and ‘organic shapes’ and found some inspiration almost immediately. No dithering for a change.

So, this weekend I’ve been quilting....and quilting....and quilting. Quilting the stem and around the circles in brown, and then little swirls all over the background. I couldn’t stop running my hands over it as dense quilting feels soooo cool!!

I believe that sewing machines are like hunting animals – they sense your free motion quilting fear!! I find that the more confidently i approach it more successful the outcome.

Many of the tips i have found on the web suggest going very slowly. This doesn’t work for me as i find it more difficult to get my ‘groove’ and my shapes end up looking a bit jerky. So, I just set the machine to a medium speed, took a deep breath, and dived in head first!

I hope my partner likes her table runner/wall hanging. I think she might but i can’t tell you why or that will give the game away :-)

By the friend Melanie has just made the big leap into blogland. She hasn't been sewing very long but judging by her productivity she's well and truly hooked! I'm sure she'd love it if you popped by and said 'Hi'.