Thursday, 30 March 2017

A year and a half later

Still no craft posts! And actually I haven't worked on many craft projects either. I'm full of excuses but the fact is work got busy and I started to get my usual restlessness; what am I doing? Am I in the right job? What does it all mean? I had been in my consulting role four years which is the longest job I've ever had and I felt I needed a change. But rather than change roles I decided the thing I needed was a bit of travel.

I took two months unpaid leave travelling to India and Bali at the beginning of this year. It was a fantastic experience! So much colour and fabric! The Indian women with their beautiful saris and the Balinese with their sarongs. Amazing.  I also went on a yoga teacher training course which has become a real love for me. Most mornings I'm managing to get up and do 30 minutes of yoga. We learnt about meditation on the course and calming the mind. I think craft and sewing has always been my way of calming my mind as you focus on the stitches, keeping them straight, feeling the fabric; all other thoughts seem to disappear. I can look back and see during the stressful times that having that down time to sew and let my mind rest would have helped.

I have so much to write and share, but clearly it might be another two years until I post them on here. But just to say I'm still here enjoying life's adventures, buying lots of fabric and not managing to find the time to do much with it.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Quilty is back

It has been a couple of years since I last posted a blog and what a couple of years it has been. I am one of these people who fall in and out of fads but the one thing I keep coming back to is craft.
I’ve been looking over my past posts and I did a really bad job of keeping my new year’s resolution in 2013. I guess there has been quite a bit of change over the past couple of year. I’ve moved to London and bought a house with my sister, I’ve also changed my job, and I’m single – again (in fact I think that has been the only constant over the past two years!)
My job change is the main reason I stopped blogging. I work in consultancy so it means I travel a lot and never seem to get time to do any craft, but I’m determined to change that! So I’m back online and I’m going to write what I’m up to partly to make myself do it but also to feel part of the community again.

For all those who work in corporate jobs let this be a little outlet of creativity where we can share our crafty ideas and ensure we don’t become robots!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year resolutions

2012 got very hectic towards the end with little time for any craft activity or blogging. But the new year is here and I'm going to commit to a craft project a month! I'm going to start by finishing the quilt I commenced almost three months ago. It's folded up half finished in the cupboard waiting for me feeling like its been forgotten.

Another resolution is to save some money so a weekend crafting will be the perfect way to keep myself away from the shops. Who is with me?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A developer has quilt an app for that

I love technology that makes my life easier so I was delighted to find some quilting related phone apps. I downloaded a few and to save you the trouble I've reviewed them....

Hugs n Kisses
Rating: 2/5
Cost: Free
This is a nice looking app that directs you to the Hugs n Kisses shop, blog, website and facebook page. The main thing that annoys me about this app is the loading time, it would be quicker to go to their website through the internet than this app.
But having said that if you are a fan of Hugs n Kisses you'll probably like this app.

Quilt Ref.
Rating: 1/5
Cost: Free
A simple app with little functionality  It basically calculates the setting triangles needed for a quilt based on the reference block size. I'm not even confident it does it that accurately either as it says: "To be safe, add 1/4" to 1/2" to squares".
There's a inch, yard, cm converter and a list of standard US quilt sizes as well, but you can get all this and more in other apps.

Quilt Wizard
Rating: 4/5
Cost: £2.99
I love this app. It doesn't help with measurements of cutting lists but it does help you visualise your finished quilt and help with the design. This app is just what you need to motivate yourself when you have lost sight of what you're doing.
There is a huge list of block designed and some fabric samples to fill in the design. One of my favourite features is the ability to upload your own fabric by taking a photo of it, plus you can add notes to the fabric too. The only improvement would be if it had some basic measurement functionality.

Block Fab
Rating: 3/5
Cost: Free
This app helps you work out how much fabric you'll need for your quilt including shrinkage allowance. There is a library of different block types and some basic colour-way options that builds up to show you what the finished quilt will look like.
This is a great app but I didn't find it an intuitive to use as some of the others and the design look and feel was quite basic.

Quilt Calc.
Rating: 4/5
Cost: Free
This app was created by Robert Kaufman fabrics and it has a real professional look and feel. It is my favourite for calculating measurements. It has easy to follow instructions with helpful diagrams so it is easy to pick up and use straight away.
The only thing it doesn't have is fabric colours to build up to a finished quilt, but for a free app it is well worth downloading.

If you know any other helpful apps or have used the above please share your thoughts by commenting on the post.

Monday, 22 October 2012

To be fair we all love a bit of craft

I spent yesterday afternoon wondering round the local craft fair and I was in awe of the artists displaying their wares. There were lots of jewellery artists and I fell in love with a few pieces but couldn't afford to buy anything this month.

I had a chat with one of the talented jewellery designers who had come all the way from Devon and we made the observation that there were so many jewellery stands compared to any other craft. She was saying that those making jewellery were having an easier time at the moment than textile artists as that's where the customer demand was. It's probably due to the greater value of gold & silver vs. wool & cotton. Sometimes people don't think about the cost of the time, effort and love that has gone into creating a piece and simply think about the cost of the raw materials.
A purchase from the craft fair - buttons sewn onto a postcard
It's such a shame as I only saw one stall selling quilts and it was a stall showcasing student work. Can you really make a living selling quilts? I know I'd love to give it ago but I have the fear of giving up my regular income from my day job.

I am pleased to say that one textile artist really caught my eye and is clearly making a living out of her work as there was quite a crowd around the stall at one point. The artist is Kate Talbot and she creates textile pictures in a cartoon style. Her work really made me chuckle to myself it's brilliant. You can buy the original work, print or postcards. Check it out here:

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A thoughful gift

There is something warm and fuzzy about giving someone a homemade gift and it really does embody the spirit of Christmas. There seems to be a hankering for this traditional present in the market - just look at the number of cheesy Christmas jumpers on sale (I got one for someone last year and it looked awesome).

This year I have a little extra time of my hands so I'm going to try making something for my nearest and dearest. I know there is nothing worse than getting a present you don't want and having to fake that you like it - "wow a poorly embroidered toilet cover, it's just what I always wanted". As a result I have been doing some research and think the following would make gorgeous home made gifts and they are all quite easy to make.

Handkerchief Stocking
These stocking remind me of something you might pick up at The White Company for £25 but you can make you own simple stocking at a snip of the cost. I think this would make a lovely gift for my mum with some pamper products inside.

Quilting Stocking
A traditional stocking which would make any kid excited about seeing what was inside.

Pocket advent calendar
A really simple way to make an advent calendar and you can add your own personality by picking some personal fabrics.

Christmas Fairy Decoration
A timeless classic decoration and I love it!

If you like appliqué this decoration will be right up your street.

Quilted Heart Decoration
I'm going to have a go at making these. I think you could alter the design slightly and stuff them with lavender or a more Christmassy scent to make a perfect homemade present.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

It's beginning to feel alot like Christmas

It feels far too early but I am beginning to think Christmas. In fact I should have started to think about Christmas a couple of months ago if I was really serious about making home made goodies, but the reality is I'm not that organised.

I have made a start though! I treated myself to an advent calendar pattern the other weekend which I've almost finished making. It's a really simple project as it has the instructions printed on the panel and it's certainly got me into the Christmas spirit. I'm already thinking about other festive possibilities.

Instructions on the panel and the fabrics I used to back it and border it.

Almost finished advent calendar
 I purchased the fabric panel from C&H and they have lots of different designs. I got the Fireplace Advent Panel, it cost £8.99 and very simple to make. It's a gorgeous and traditional design and there are plenty of fabrics to choose from for the backing. I don't find the C&H online shop the easiest to navigate unless you know what the item you're looking for is called, so I suggest you pop into your local shop or just google "advent calendar panel" and plenty of results pop up.