This is a blog about my foray into Quilting. I love fabric to distraction and want to be able to fool around with it and make extraordinary things. That's my wish. The outcome may be somewhat different but we shall see.


Farmers Wife QAL

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Saturday, 28 April 2012

I have been SO BAD

it's untrue.  It's not like I don't have a whole huge stash of fabric upstairs but I found
that Canton Village were having a monthly Bloggers Block of the month (a link is on the left hand side of my blog).  Anyway I happened to look at it again and thought to myself 'Oh YES YES YES they are using Kaffe Fasset's fabrics and I LOVE them so I guess I need to order what the BOM calls for because I have no imagination at all!

This is the fabric that Jackie from Canton Village sent to all the designers of this BOM.

  And mostly I really liked it but ... by the time Mrs. Sit On Her Bum looked some of it was no longer available - would you just believe it!!!  Well it isn't.  So what now.  Well I looked at the blocks that had been done

And then at the designers who are:

And again I thought YES YES YES I have to do this because they are all such GREAT quilters and designers!  And if you go to their websites the blocks look even better than they do above.  I was in LOVE!  So what fabric did I choose because so much of it I couldn't buy.  Well here is what I chose and I really hope you guys agree with my choices

I know it's too late now because I've ordered and paid for it all but please tell me if you think I haven't got this right please please pelase.  I suppose I really won't know until I have added some plain fabric, which knowing me and my lack of imagination will be white, and made at least one block to show you.  Now all I need is for the fabric to arrive and get my sewing machine back again.

Until next time ...
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I am sick of being Moaning Minnie so ...

.... here is a tutorial.  Not by me because I'm not that smart.  Well I am that smart actually but not where quilting is concerned YET but I will be.  Anyway because I have no sewing machine (and I'm not moaning honestly I'm not) I decided to stitch some hexagons.  But the first lot I stitched you could see all the stitches and then I read about Mylar Hexagons of various sizes from The Scrappy Appleyard and here is their Blog as well.  Johna' Lee's story is truly inspirational.

Now ... here is the tutorial on how to use the Mylar Hexagon Templates and for your stitches not to show and they really don't even if you have to use paper like I did because I was too impatient to wait for the Mylar Hexagons to get here in the U.K. from over the pond.

I will put my 2 blocks up as soon as I have finished stitching the second one. I've made the hexagons but they have to be stitched onto a background fabric and then hand quilted.  The first block I made is dreadful but you will be able to see that for yourselves soon enough.

Here is the Tutorial and I am going to buy the plastic hexagons because even as a child I didn't much like cutting things out.  Heck I didn't even like paper dolls!

Hexagon Tutorial with PLASTIC TEMPLATES

by Johna' Lee
The Scrappy Appleyard

Finally....Johna' Lee's 'Hexagon' tutorial
everyone has been asking for...

 So here goes...
 I do a lot of my sewing in the car while traveling...
so I rough cut my pieces out while in the car as well.
I cut the templates 3/8" larger all the way around the template.
Most people tell you to cut them 1/4" larger...
but with the plastic templates...
if they are cut out like that and are not dead on center...
the templates will start to pop out.
They tell you to cut 1/4" larger because
they are figuring on most people hand quilting this project when it is completed...
and any bigger than that leaves an extra layer of fabric to quilt through.
My solution....go in and trim up any excess.
Also...if you cut it at a 1/4" larger and don't have it completely centered...
you will have weak points in your quilt...
where it isn't quite a 1/4" seam.
Place a pin through the middle of the hole and back through
to hold the piece while you work.
Fold over the first corner until you have a crisp edge
and tack two tacking stitches.
(Just a basic whip stitch)
Now with the same needle and thread
travel over to the next point...
fold it over crisply...
and take two stitches at that corner...
Continue around until you come to the last point
before the edge where you started.
At this point take out the pin...
I then kind of pull it tightly
so as to pull out the indentation
from the pin holding the fabric and template together.
Go to the place you started...
take one more stitch
and knot off.

Now butt two templates up side by side
and whip together about 1/8" apart
starting at the very points of each hexagon...


Now I know I may offend other bloggers and hexagon hand piecers out there...
but this is my 'humble' opinion.
I travel across the country doing shows
30-36 weekends a year...
and I see all kinds of quilts.
99% of Hexagon Quilts....
have 'stitches' showing through to the front.
To me...
if one is going to go to all of this handwork...
the last thing you want...
is for your stitches to show through!

This is why I LOVE the plastic templates.
If you place them side by side and stitch them
instead of like the previous picture...
your stitches will NOT show through!

Add another petal to flower center and starting at the top like shown in the picture below...
whip stitch all the way down that template
as well as the previous petal you attached.
The striped piece is the Flower Center
Continue until all flower petals are added.

When you get to the last one...
it is a little  bit funky to hold it...
but this is what I do....

I stitch the petal side to the center of flower
and continuously through the 
adjoining petal.

Then I go back and stitch the sides of the first and last petal together...
finishing the flower.

Wa la....
Your flower is finished...
and you can start adding the pieces all the way
around it to make a path...
The templates pictured here are 1" Hexagons

Now to take out the templates so you can reuse them...
You must always keep the templates on the outside
edge of the piece you are working on at all times... 

Once you have completely enclosed a template
all the way around with templates
whipped stitched on each edge..
you then can pull out that middle template.

I go to each one of my basting threads
that I originally secured the plastic template with...
and clip them.
This will release the template so you 
can gently take it out...
Now on this piece...
I can go take out all of the templates
except for the raspberry colored hexagons
on the outer edge...

And then you have your final unit
all completed...

These little templates are addicting.
I love them because 
they travel so easy.

Also...with the PLASTIC templates...
once you invest in them...
you never have to purchase them again...
or keep remaking them like the paper ones.

If you  would like to order some to try out...

Until next time ...
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I am so sorry but ...

I know I am on Madame Samms' BlogList of people who are sharing their Table Toppers today.  Unfortunately I have been without my sewing machine for a couple of weeks now.  If you really want to get depressed you can read my catalogue of awful things that have happened to me over the past couple of weeks.

I'm not depressed now - I yelled at some poor woman yesterday, and I really should phone and apologise I guess, but I don't want to because I'm sick of 'it's not my job' attitude and 'I can't do anything about it' and even if I had packed my machine in a ton of bubblewrap it still wouldn't have been enough packaging for them.

So I apologise to all of you lovely ladies and especially Madame Samm for not keeping up my end of what I was supposed to do today, but life happens and boy has it been happening to me lately.

Until next time ...
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

Monday, 23 April 2012

Things have gone from worse to worser

Well I heard from Parcel2Go today telling me that they had rejected my claim because the packing was insufficient.  The machine had a hard case protecting it and a box and brown paper and was fit so tightly in the box it shouldn't have been able to move but their couriers must have thrown this box about something rotten because all of the feet had come out of its' box which is attached to the machine and is missing because if you look to the right of where the red circle is that's where the box should be that houses the feed and other stuff.  

I'm sick to death of things going wrong.  Why can't something go right just for once.  I have phoned up Parcel2Go and they are calling me back this afternoon.  We shall see.
Here is where it shows what the
damage is

Here is how it was packed

Here is the outside of the box

What I would really like to know is how they managed to damage the machine so badly that it is unusable but the hard case covering the machine isn't damaged at all?

So until next time ... 
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way possible

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Something nice

I wrote a Review about Fat Quarterly E-Zine for the London Modern Quilt Guild and thought I would share it with my readers as well just in case you don't go their website and read it.  So here it is and I do hope you like it:

Fat Quarterly Review

Fat Quarterly was started by 6 members of the online Modern Quilting /Sewing community from Britain and America to share project ideas and inspiration with other members of the Modern Quilting/Sewing community from all over the world.

The first issue was published in April 2010, named ‘Fresh Start’ written by the founding members Aneela Hoey, Brioni Greenberg, Kate Dixon, Katy Jones, Tacha Bruecher and John Q. Adams.  The E-Zine was an instant hit both here in England as well as in the U.S.  However, due to work and home commitments Aneela is no longer a permanent fixture but pops in every now and again and Lynn Goldsworthy has filled the empty space very aptly, I might add, as anyone who reads her blog can attest to as she is a brilliant quilter as well as her blog has amazing tutorials.

The Fat Quarterly team, of which there are now 5 members, Katy ,Tacha, Brioni, John & Lynn, met via various online quilting bees and swaps and shared a common admiration for one another’s' style and aesthetic talents.

In the very first issue each of the 6 founder members had to do a challenge and the challenge had to include flying geese in a block and this is Brioni Greenbergs’ take on it

and this is John Q. Adams take on it.  If you want to see the others I’m afraid you will have to buy the E-Zine.

Fat Quarterly E-Zine is exactly 2 years old now and to say I have loved every single issue is putting it mildly.  Each one has had something totally different and inspirational to get my creative juices flowing.  There have been a further 7 quarterly issues since April 2010 as well as two specials.

In addition to sharing their designs and ideas each issue includes lots of well-known guests who have gotten my mojo to work overtime with their picture-perfect inspirational ideas which are a thrill and delight to read and digest.   The instructions for every single piece one can make in each edition is explicit and most can be stitched by even the newest sewist/quilter and if it can’t be the magazine quite clearly states this.

Each and every issue can be downloaded and viewed as a PDF file for any kind of computer, be it a PC or a Mac and can also be downloaded onto an iPad and is published four times yearly hence the name Fat Quarterly because each issue is very fat and is published once each season.

In the first year we had ‘Fresh Starts’, Scraps, Fussy Cutting and Solids all selling for a very reasonable $8.00 each or just $28.00 if you buy all four at once.  I really don’t know which one is my favourite to be honest.  Because I loved them all.  We also had Holiday Special 2010 which sold for only $5.00.  All of the e-zines are still for sale and can be purchased singly or buy four at a time HERE

Then the second year we were further delighted with issues names Pre-Cuts, Substrates, Colour and the 8th issue was named Paper which I personally was really looking forward to as I love paper piecing and I certainly was not disappointed.  

From Lynn Goldsworthy for Issue 8

Now I am eagerly awaiting Number 9 which should be out soon.  But in the meantime if you go the Fat Quarterly WEBSITE you will see that not only can you buy their incredible magazines but they are hosting a Community Retreat in London on the first weekend June.  I wish I could go but …..

Until next time ...
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Things just got from bad to worse

I waited in all day Tuesday for the courier company to come and guess what?  They never turned up.  I was so angry I was spitting blood.  I told them via the 'speaking' thing on their website and the first woman I spoke to couldn't care less and just kept on telling me that if I had read their small print I would have seen that they don't guarantee picking up the parcel when they say.  I explained that I had a day from hell on Wednesday (yesterday) and after 12pm nobody would be home.  So the second woman said she would request that the parcel was collected between 8a.m. and 12p.m.  Did they turn up?  No way Jose!

So what did I do next?  Well I called my younger daughter whose car was written off on Sunday morning by some idiot boy she let drive it.  Don't get me started on that one!  She isn't a kid.  Anyway I needed a favor from her insomuch as I needed her to stay at my house whilst I ran around like a lunatic.

My day yesterday started at 7:00 a.m.  I am NEVER awake at that time unless I have been up all night.  At 7:15 I got my grandson and took him to school in Borehamwood from Bushey where we live.  Too darn early because school doesn't open until 8:00 a.m. so I waited in the car park with him for 15 minutes. Then I drove home and went out at 12:00 to get Stacy, Borehamwood again, because the couriers hadn't turned up.  Got home again and took Larry to hospital  in Watford for a test which would last most of the afternoon.  Drove home again and ate lunch of sorts.  Then at 3:15 I left again to be able to park in car park in Borehamwood and collected Sammy from school again at 4:15.  Took him with me to collect Larry from hospital in Watford drove back to Elstree to drop Sammy off at a hotel there for his boxing lessons.  Then drove home and collected Stacy and drove her home and then got home finally at 6:30pm. And this is all from somebody who hates driving.  I drove almost 100 miles yesterday.  I just think the people aren't safe on the road with me driving as my reactions  aren't great anymore thanks to the MS and age probably.

The courier company finally turned up at around 4:45p.m/ yesterday and the sewing machine went back to where I bought it from via Parcel2Go and luckily paid an extra amount to insure it.  So Hobkirk (the people I got the machine from) in Blackburn got the machine back today and opened it and found it was smashed.  Lucky for me I paid extra for insurance.  Now they want all kinds of photos and the machine was not sent back in the original box because I didn't have it anymore.  I do hope they pay out because the machine cost me £499.00.

Please hope they pay out because if they don't I won't have another machine for quite a while.

Until next time ...
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

Monday, 16 April 2012

Thee things went wrong since Friday

On Friday I collected my new glasses from my brother-in-law who is an Optician.  Anyway they were a replacement pair for a pair I got around a month again which broke - wel they came apart at the bridge.  So I got another pair these ones:

They aren't the most gorgeous glasses I have ever owned but they were the most comfortable I've  ever worn in my whole life and I really loved wearing them for one whole day and night and then on Saturday when I went to put them on the left arm came off and back they went to my brother-in-law!  So that was Saturday.

On Sunday ...

My New Sewing Machine died.  Well it didn't exactly die but it was supposed to be all singing and dancing and doing everything for itself by itself.  If wasn't new - I bought it second-hand from a dealer here in the U.K. and the tension went wrong on Sunday which was not supposed to happen as it had a self fixing button with automatic tension, and I was really upset.  So I called them today and I have to send it back to them.  It cost £500.00 which was a good price or so I thought.  But it cost me £39.00 to have it couriered back to them because they have a back to base warranty and they are in northern England.  Most of that cost was insurance.

It's the Husqvarna Saphire 870

So that was yesterday's upset.  So now I can't even sew!  Well not by machine anyway because it is packed in a box waiting to be collected in the morning.  I have asked for it to be replaced by a new machine.  Either this one:

Brothers Innov-is 350 Special Edition Computerised Sewing Machine

Janome TXL607

I don't really care which one they send me though I must admit I think I fancy the Brother because it has a larger throat and I somehow think it's a full sized machine though I would be happy with either one to be honest.

Then today the third thing happened.  That's three days in a row if you've been counting.

So what happened today? Well fish brain, I've decided to call myself that from now on because they only remember things for 2 seconds and that must be around how long my brain retains information now,  I got a PayPal invoice for a BOM that I had completely forgotten about.  I thought I don't remember paying for that, so I went and looked and sure enough on February 15, 2012 I paid for the first month but I never received it.  So I wasn't unhappy today until I realised that I didn't get it and I really love it and here it is and if you want to do this and Sharon, Daisy Cottage Quilting, has any spaces left you'd better be quick because it is really a beauty:

It's called Vintage Memories BOM
and it can be found on the right hand side 
of Daisy Cottage Quilting

and it's a scrappy quilt which is my favorite kind right now.  I am also determined to be able to cut and piece correctly that is for sure so until my new machine arrives I'm going to practice cutting with Marti Michell's Templates of which I am the proud owner of 4 sets - Sets A, B, M & S and also my new ruler which is really great.  So all in all I'm really set in the ruler department.

I did discover that I really like English Paper piecing too and make some really great hexagons.  I remembered too that I don't like cutting paper much.  I didn't like playing with paper dolls which I was a kid because you had to cut out their clothes and I don't think I ever did it perfectly and I don't like doing things I can't do perfectly.  That's what is so astounding about my quilting adventures so far because I'm so bad at it and yet I'm still trying and still really loving it.  So now I want to find paper hexagons that are ready cut for me here in the U.K. so if anybody knows where I can get these please let me know.

Well that's it from me for now.  I will show you next time when I have taken a photo of it my really bad quilting but my really lovely hand-stitched hexagons.

Until next time ...
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

Monday, 9 April 2012

A Book and a Giveaway

I So Need this book.  It is called Patchwork Patterns 318 and is written by Kumiko Fujita.  Look this isn't a want I absolutely NEED it NOW so if anybody knows of anywhere I can get it please let me know.  I don't mind borrowing it for a little tiny bit.  It is totally out of print and impossible to get.  So please please please please please please help me find this.

What is so special about it is that all the
projects in this book are Paper Pieced
and I LOVE Paper Piecing

Thank you so much if you can help I will be forever in your debt BIG TIME - I mean HUGE really really big!

And NOW for my favorite ruler.  The Lazy Angle Ruler which is my all time favorite that's for sure and here it is:

and this book goes with the ruler.
I bought the book too but have yet to use it but I love the ruler.

and here is a demo of how to use this amazing ruler made by Creative Grids.  Creative Grids are in the U.S.A. but they are also in England

Plus if YOU don't already own this ruler and book Lazy Girl Blog is having a giveaway here now!

Until next time ...
Lots of LovePatti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

Friday, 6 April 2012

A Real Whinge ....

Hmph!!  I know I have lived in England for a very very long time but the greediness of these Brits I live with sometimes floors even me.  If you are British please don't stop reading because at the end of this post I have something quite interesting for you guys to know.

What's my whinge you ask?  Well I know the price of cotton has gone up because I remember reading about it.  So what have the British Quilt Shops done?  They have upped the yardage price, in general, to £13.00 ($20.60) a meter.  Yes I know they have to pay shipping and taxes on what the bring in and it used to be Pounds for Dollars all the time.  Like if it cost $10.00 then it would cost £10.00 - about half as much again.  I had a slight problem with this, okay I had a huge problem with it but I still supported the British stores because I didn't want them to close like most of the Cross Stitch shops have in this country.  But this is ridiculous!!!  I will not pay $20.60 a meter for cotton.

This is what I bought yesterday from Stitch Steals which I only just found thanks to a new American friend (at least I hope I can call her a friend):

It is Lost & Found by
Riley Blake

and yes I know it isn't a new line but it is still being sold in loads of stores in the States and how much did it cost me?  Well excluding postage it was $34.99 (£22.00) and for this I get 21 fat quarters which is just over 5 yards of fabric.  And what's more I really love it.

If you went to The Fat Quarter Shop which is a favorite of mine they are still charging $10.00 a yard as is Twiddletails which is another favorite store of mine.  Now I know you have to pay postage.

What about VAT and the darn Flat Rate Handling fee you are charged if you now bring in more than, I think, around £15.00 but nowhere on the British Governments website could I find anything relating to this.  The only thing I could find was you can import £230.00 worth of goods if they are a gift but don't bank on it because a friend of mine from New Zealand, hi Danielle, had her mother mail Danielle's wedding invitations to her here and they were marked as a gift and the Post Office seized them and held them hostage until the VAT and the darn Handling Fee were paid.  

So how do you get around this?  If you want to know please email me and I will tell you.  My email address is patreeshal @ gmail dot com.  I would gladly pay the tax, I pay it here and really don't have problem with it.  It's the handling charge for charging me the tax that I have the problem with.  So what about you?

Until next time ...
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

Thursday, 5 April 2012

I had THE BEST time ever (picture heavy)

On Sunday another London Modern Quilt Guild meeting was held here:

The store is called Tricolette
(I know you can see that)
and Michael is part owner in it
and he is a brilliant Quilter

and the address is 93 Boundary Road (just off of Abbey Road) NW8 0RG for those of us who live near St. John's Wood and although on the website it mainly says about the knitting yarns that are sold there Michael sells great fabrics and sewing machines by Janome as well as haberdashery and he's a wonderful guy if you go because of this post please tell him I said hello.

Annie is the founder of The London Modern Quilt Guild and it is just amazing.  I really love it.  Everyone is just so nice.  The first meeting of the LMQG was, I believe, in February this year and I attended the March one and had a great time. 

The April one was even better.  Here is a photo of most of us.  Unfortunately it was taken after some of the ladies had left
L-R SydneyDanielle, Natalie, JudithJennifer, AnnieCharlotteChristine,MichaelPennieColetteAtiaPattiSiobhanAmy. I am the one with the square in front of me because I spilled coffee down me!!
Annie started out the meeting by saying that Aneela Hoey couldn't attend until the end of the summer due to prior commitments.  Then 30 seconds later who walked into the store but Aneela with Pennie (who's birthday it was the next day).  If you don't know who Aneela is, 
she is one of the designers for Moda Fabric and her designs include Sherbert Pips, Little Apples and A Walk In The Woods.  I have all three designs and am waiting to make something out of them though I have started a quilt for our latest (and last I believe) granddaughter Chloe (also known as Mrs. Peck)
Little Apples by Aneela Hoey
Our task for the month was to make either a Wonky Star block or a Wonky Log Cabin block.  I chose the Wonky Log Cabin block and it's not great to say the least but nobody would allow me to throw it away or give it away.  They said I had to keep it in order that I could see how far I'd progressed next time I quilted something.  Will there be a next time?  Probably.
I really don't like this.  Trust me the quilting
was BAD

Here are some more blocks that were great
This is Ruth with her block

This is Sydney holding her block

I think this is Christine holding her block

I don't know who is holding this one

I know this isn't a block but it is the
beginnings of a quilt by Charlotte

What made this meeting even more special, if it could possible be any more special than having Aneela there, was on Monday it was Pennie's birthday and she and her OH have a catering business and he had made the most wonderful brownies I think I have ever tasted and a wonderful lemon cake too.  I know, I know I'm supposed to be on a diet.  No it's a new eating plan!!! Really???  It certainly feels like a diet to me.  But I had the best hamburger there too for lunch. 

Also Danielle made this wonderful little bag with little hexagons on it that is English Paper Pieced for us all to make.  I'm definitely going to be starting on this one sooner rather than later.

If you would like to try and make it
HERE are the instructions

I do hope you have enjoyed this blog post as much as I have enjoyed reading it.  

Until next time ...
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way