The Sweetest Thing

May 2013 – we were driving around Northumberland wondering where we might like to live if we managed to sell our flat in Edinburgh, and we called in at a local quilting shop for some thread. Half an hour later, and after a chat with the lady in the shop about how lovely it would be to live in the village, I left with the thread. And this fat quarter bundle of Riley Blake’s ‘The Sweetest Thing’. Most expensive thread ever.

The Sweetest Thing 1

I just love the prints in the collection, especially the birds and the little flowers.

1

September 2015 – we now live in that lovely village hurrah. And that pretty fabric will be staying here too – as a quilt for the daughter of one of my new friends here.

The Sweetest Thing 2

I hope she loves it!

The Sweetest Thing 4

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Erm…hello???

So…it’s been almost a year and still no shop…

I have lots of good intentions, does that count?

It does? Ok great.

It turns out moving house – moving country technically – is pretty time-consuming, especially when you have a crazy three-year old to entertain and keep out of mischief. 15 years of things to pack up, friends to say goodbye to, places to visit for one last time…house-hunting, curtain-hunting (which took a whole lot longer than finding the house), and generally finding our groove in our new life. And it has so been worth it. We’ve had so many happy times in beautiful Edinburgh, and there are few of it’s streets that don’t hold some kind of memory for us. But family…community…peace…space – these are the things we craved. After many years of talking about it, we finally moved ourselves back home to the beautiful Northumbrian countryside. Back home for me anyway, and home now to my two boys too. And we love it!

So there we go. Not much sewing, but lots of good things nonetheless.

And now, on with the quilts!

This was the first quilt I ever made, as a gift for the brand new baby of a dear friend. I’ve always loved the sheep print, and now that we have sheep living at the bottom of our garden (not yet in our garden but give it time, our fence is pretty flimsy) I think I need to order more. I love the token black sheep!

Iris' quilt

I have a few others to finish up, packaging to organise, and a few other bits and bobs to sort out, then I should be opening my online doors at last. I will be accepting custom orders too, I know a few people have asked about particular themes or colours. Once I have my pricing structure finalised I will list the prices for the various sizes (baby, cotbed, junior bed etc) and the ordering can commence!

Anyway enough about me. How have you been? 

In fact are you still out there? Leave me a comment and say hi!

 

Radio silence

I’ve been sewing like crazy to get my first batch of quilts finished for my Etsy shop…I had hoped to open my online doors this month but it’s going to take a little longer after all. Lots more sewing to do, and lots of admin too. Packaging, branding, finances, tax…anything else??

In the meantime, my flat is beginning to look a little like this –

cartoon

(via Facebook – I don’t know where it’s originally from…)

I bought the biggest storage box I could find in Ikea at the weekend. I figured my finished quilts would be nice and cosy inside it. It turns out what looks like a big box in a massive warehouse actually turns out to be an ENORMOUS box inside a pretty average-sized home. Top of the to-do list for this weekend – empty our big storage cupboard so the massive box has somewhere to live. In the meantime, the fact that it is on wheels makes it an obvious toddler-toy…he hasn’t realised he could fit right inside it yet but give it a couple of days…

Fabric love – Anthology Fabrics

I received my first order from Celtic Fusion Fabrics yesterday, and am over the moon with it. I’ve been looking at their website for a little while now, after finding it via Very Berry Handmade’s incredibly useful list of UK online fabric shops (which you can find here). I’ve been struggling to find fabrics I love for girls, so I was delighted to find a collection of Anthology prints on their site which I hadn’t seen anywhere else.

This ‘Blooming Lovely’ print was the first one to catch my eye…

Anthology blooming lovely birds on white

And the ‘Flying Free’ prints are also incredibly sweet:

Anthology

One of the things I love most about their site is the way they include a photo of each print with others that coordinate with it (like here). It can be hard ordering fabric online, not being able to get a true feel for the colours, and matching fabrics can be a bit of a guessing game. But thanks to the extra photos, I ended up ordering four of the Flying Free prints, and I’m so pleased that I did.  The orange flower heads are a beautiful coral colour, and the little flower print is so sweet. I love the trees and butterflies on the main print – and the crazy chickens make me smile.

Anthology flying tree bird menagerie

I also ordered some Riley Blake Happier Birds and Scandinavian Trees which I’ve had my eye on for some time. They’re just as lovely as I’d hoped.

Riley Blake happier birds and scandi flowers

And finally, a selection of Lecien dots in great colours. I have yet to meet a Lecien dot that I don’t like.

Lecien dots

I have a few separate baby girl quilts planned for these fabrics, but I really do love how they all look together too…

Celtic Fusion bundle
(From left to right: Anthology Fabrics – Blooming Lovely Birds on White, and Sweet Tea Tents in Green; Riley Blake – Happier Birds, and Happier Scandinavian Flowers; three Lecien dotty prints; Anthology Fabrics – Flying Flower Head in Orange, Flying Free Raindrops in Line, Flying Free Bird Menagerie with Trees, Flying Free Tiny Flower in Red, two more Lecian dotty prints.)

And do you see that red and pink dotty fabric on the end? I found that tucked up with my bundle – a little freebie that made my day. Who doesn’t love a fabric surprise?? It coordinates perfectly with the fabrics I ordered, and was a really thoughtful touch. Have a look at their website – you won’t be disappointed!

Pretty patchwork

I must admit I’ve never been a big fan of Cath Kidston. I know many people love her prints, but I’ve often thought them a bit busy, and a bit overly-sweet. However…when a friend asked me to make a quilt for her little girl with a Cath Kidston fabric bundle that she’d bought a while ago, I jumped at the chance. And once I had started cutting into the fabric and arranging the pieces, I really started to get on board with the florals, and the combinations of blues, pinks, greens and reds. In fact I was so pleased with how well the prints work together that I’ve bought another bundle so I can make a couple of quilts for the shop.

And the strawberries?? I just love them!

Cath Kidston prints

Mixed together, the prints make a very pretty patchwork – the blues and greens in the fabric tone down the pink, giving it a sweet, feminine feel. I’m planning on adding a creamy-white border all of the way around the patchwork, and binding it with red spotty fabric. More photos to follow once it’s finished!

Cath Kidston

Fabric love

Look what arrived in the post yesterday… two gorgeous bundles of fabric to replenish my stash.

The first bundle makes me think of springtime and Easter eggs.

Springtime colours

(From top to bottom: Breakfast at Tiffany’s Playful Dots Blue – Fig Tree Quilts for Moda; Pebble Stripe Sky, Circa 52 – Monaluna for Birch Organic Fabrics; Blue on Blue Spot – Durham Collection by Brenda Riddle, Lecien Japan; Simpatico Straws Minty and Pinkish – Michelle Engel Bencsko for Cloud 9 Fabrics; Orchid Mini Dots – Michael Miller Fabrics. All purchased here.)

The second bundle includes some of my current favourite fabrics – the little birdies from Lotta Jansdotter’s Bella collection are very jolly, and I adore the floral print – from the Ladies Stitching Garden collection by Oliver + S for Moda. In fact I love it so much I am stashing some in case I ever need a baby girl quilt of my own… I already have one quilt underway using some of these fabrics, but the blues and greens in this bundle work so well together that I think I will need to make another!

Fabric love

(From left to right: Children At Play Blue Dots – Sarah Jane for Michael Miller Fabrics; Bella Birds in Teal – Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics; Ladies Stitching Garden, Bouquet in Light Blue – Oliver + S for Moda; three Lecien Colour Basics prints – Maxi in Green Mist, Midi in Sky Blue, Teeny Tiny Dots in Soft Green; Tiny Dots in Cornflower Blue – Stof. All purchased here.)