21 August 2015

The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt

My favourite sewing/quilting project I've worked on, *ever* has to be my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. I'm not exactly sure why I'm using past tense, because I've yet to finish - or even complete all 111 blocks! But working on each little 6" block has been the most fun, really. So you could imagine my excitement a few months ago while browsing Amazon for quilt books, to discover Laurie Aaron Hird was releasing a second book entitled; The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt

Regular reader's might remember me working on my FWQAL blocks a while back, and sticking to my theme of using 1930s reproduction fabrics only, so it's funny to see this new book released with that style too. I absolutely love the blocks in the new book! I've only had a flick through as I didn't want to get sucked in just yet, but they look beautiful, perhaps trickier than the first book? 

One of my favourite blocks has to be #53 Lucy, those fabrics and colour's! Just perfect. A whole quilt of this? Yes please.

I will be sticking to the original Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt for the time being as I'm keen to get that finished in between working on other projects. However I will be following Kerry's quilt-a-long that starts next month, she's planned a year long QAL with lots of tips and techniques and blogger's joining in along the way; including myself for one block next February. I'll be doing #47 Joy, which you can see below… hmm will I be able to hold off on making it for that long? We'll see. 

Kerry will be making her blocks using foundation paper piecing. Templates for this technique is included with the book, this is a new addition from the first one - which only included rotary cutting templates, to then use for machine or hand piecing (machine piecing is the method of choice I use for this particular project). I've also heard of people doing it with English paper piecing, which I would be interested in seeing!

I'm all fired up to start work on my blocks again now! I'm really inspired by the new blocks, I think if I started on the second quilt now I would follow Laurie's lead and use one print per block and balance it out with more solid fabrics. I haven't used much solid fabrics at all in my current FWQ so it would be fun to change it up. Over in my shop, besides having the 1930s repros that we all know and love, I have a popular 1930s Kona Solid Fat Quarter bundle, which includes all the 'official' 1930s colours, and perfectly co-ordinates with all the printed 1930s fabrics, so I'm sure would definitely come in handy for a project like this! Oh and don't forget to follow along on social media with the hashtag #fw1930sqal 
Perhaps I'll give myself a deadline to complete all my original FWQ blocks by the time I have my guest post on the new quilt? So by the 29th February I have to make the remaining 47 blocks I need, yikes! I'd better get started, wish me luck! Have a great weekend friends!

17 August 2015

Free Mini Quilt Pattern, Summer Baskets

I think it's about time I start sharing some of the projects I've been working on these last few months, how does that sound? I'm kicking it off today with my free mini quilt pattern; 'Summer Baskets'. It uses the A-dorable Aunt Grace Schoolhouse Classics collection which we have in stock at Sew and QuiltI absolutely love this line, I've used it countless times since we got it in. Those ditsy florals are absolute heaven to me. 

I had a switch-around once I got all my mini quilts un-packed from FOQ and this one now sits right next to my machine. I like this setup :-) What's your sewing view? 

 The pattern is downloadable from my shop, Sew and Quilt. Lot's of customers have been downloading it with their purchases, so do send me pictures if you make one. I'd love to see! It's very simple to piece and uses minimal fabric. I added a wide border with my favourite fabric of the moment to really show it off. 

Baskets are always a favourite block of mine and often remind me of summer so I went with an ice-cream style 1930s colour scheme to play it up. You could use a coloured background and scrappy baskets for a completely different look, change it up as you wish. 

The quilt pattern is free, however the postage cost is automatically added (because I can't figure out a way to only make this 'free shipping', doh.), so if you really, really wanted it without adding anything else to your order just drop me an email and I can send it directly.

Hopefully I'll figure out a way to get over some of these technical hurdles so I can offer more free patterns in the future ;-) Enjoy!

14 August 2015

Sew and Quilt at Festival Of Quilts 2015

Wow. I'm back from the Festival Of Quilts and things are slowly, slowly getting back to normal around here. I've been completely and utterly consumed by preparations for the show for months, literally months... So I have a strange feeling of relief, sadness (that it's all over) and excitement; to make arrangements for the 'next one', focus on things that did work - and didn't work and get back to other projects I've had on hold. I've laughed that my catch phrase recently has been "once the show is out the way I can …"

I won't completely bore you with all the details of my meltdowns and last-minute panic preparations before the show, but let's just say it was a late and stressful departure leaving Cornwall the day of booth set-up, with quite literally - our clothes in a bin bag! Haha! Since I've never done a show, let alone one the size of the NEC - or even visited a quilt show until earlier this year in Nantes, it was all completely new to me. Even though I'd done lots of research etc, the basic things like nailing things to the wall, signage, price lists etc etc was a major learning curve. 

So I'm quite proud of myself that I managed to get through the whole four days, without a major spanner in the works. There were of course lots of, "why didn't I think of that?" or "why didn't I get a racking system for the wall instead of loads of annoying boxes for my English paper pieces!?" and "why did I run out of time so I didn't laminate my price labels"? Oh well. Plus I can be hugely shy, so talking to new people and selling are not usually my strongest skills - though, I think I must have been running on adrenalin because I didn't stop talking the whole weekend! I'm not sure what it was, but I had a burst of energy that kept me going, smiling - and standing! the entire time. 

I'm pretty sure the reason for that was because I everyone was so friendly and so nice! Quilter's are the best, really. I met so many blog readers and customers of Sew and Quilt! I think I should have had MessyJesse on my name badge because some people didn't quite twig it was me until we got chatting. I was talking to one lady, who noticed my name badge, and she said her new granddaughter was called Jessie, so I mentioned my nickname growing up was 'messy jesse' and she said "oh, well you know there's an online, sewing Messy Jesse?" so I said it's ME! :-D haha! She was just lovely and praised me to the hills! It was quite a boost for the day to say the least! ;-) 

Really I just wanted to stop in with this blog post to say a HUGE thank you to all of you that stopped by, introduced yourself, gave me a compliment for my booth, said they follow my blog or Instagram - or purchased something! Really it was so brilliant meeting new people and people I've known online, and talking quilts in 'real life', and not just through a computer screen. If anything has come out of this show, it's for me to get back to blogging. I've missed it. 

I also couldn't have done any of this without the help of my family. I had my mum and auntie doing an excellent job of being the sales ladies handing out flyers in the isle reeling the customers in, while I talked quilts and did demo's out the front and Robin took the money! We had a great little team going! Robin's an accountant by day, so he had strict control of the money and I had strict instructions not to touch the money, haha! He was amazing and knew so much about quilting and EPP! I was totally shocked! He went down a storm with a lot of the quilt ladies too, and how could he not! ;-) 

The only snag was being chained to the booth so I didn't get to see any of the show! I did a five-second pit stop at Petra Prins, because I adore all their reproduction fabrics and quilts so I picked up 3 FQ's, and made a trolley dash to snag a Liberty FQ from Alice Caroline too. I'll have to plan out my time more carefully next time. 

I was also located in a great place, although I didn't have a coveted 'corner booth' I had super nice neighbours! There was an incredibly nice French couple; Isabelle and Michele next to me from L'Aterlier D'Isabelle, she was lovely and gave me lots of tips as they are regulars at quilt shows all over the world. I was opposite Tulip needles, which happen to be the needles I stock at Sew and Quilt (which are really brilliant btw!) so I met my supplier, Yuko! We've been in contact for a few months and it was so nice putting a face to emails, she was so sweet and was clever to remember to take a photo of us together! I was also next to Lady Sew and Sew who had a big booth, and although I didn't speak to them personally, I chatted to the nice girls from Coats (who were apart of their stand) and as well I met the lovely Angela again from Sizzix, who was on the same stand and doing demo's. 

I also have to give a shout out to the amazing Justine from Simply Solids, we've met once before at Fat Quarterly retreat and stayed in touch through IG. She was so, so helpful and even stopped over to check on me in the stand a few times throughout the show. I met her co-owner Lisa too, lovely ladies indeed. Their stand looked incredible and I had major booth envy when I saw it during set-up!

So here's a little bit of quilting eye-candy from the show, I've used these pictures with permission from Sally Snushall from Needle & Thread Workshops, who I met at the show. If you're near the Lincoln area you must go it looks fabulous! 

All images courtesy of: Sally Snushall, Needle & Thread Workshops

I wish I could have seen some of these, they look incredible! I know the Quilter's Guild had a small collection of antique quilts on show, which I think a lot of these images are from. I was also wanting to see the collection by Fine Cell Work, which are a brilliant charity, if you haven't heard of them before. Volunteers (mostly from the Embroiderer's and Quilters Guild) go into prisons in the UK and teach prisoner's fine needlework skills which they can do in their cells for long hours. Prisoners are paid for their work, (and learn new skills/qualifications which they can use after release) which is then sold around the world. Really good work, for an often forgotten about part of society.

Right, I'm still on clean-up duty and reorganising mode here - lots to do! So it's another busy weekend ahead. Thanks for making it through all this, now give yourself a pat on the back! You're the best. And more pictures next year, promise ;-)

15 July 2015

Little Joys Quilt Along - Week 3

The Little Joys fun continues today with week #3! The 'Welcome Home' block, which you can find available on Fat Quarter Shop's Jolly Jabber blog today! Find all the details about the Christmas-in-July sew-along here

This is my favourite block from the quilt, so simple to put together and really sweet. Wouldn't they look great as a Christmas mini quilt to hang in an entrance hall? So inviting. I plan to make some more and do just that (once I've got some August deadlines out the way). Have a great week friends. 

8 July 2015

Little Joys Quilt Along - Week 2

Trim The Tree is our first block on the Little Joys quilt-along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop. You can find the free pattern over on the Jolly Jabber blog, and all the QAL details here. They are nice, big, simple blocks, so putting them together should be nice and easy. We need three of these blocks for the wall hanging quilt we're making so you can chain piece galore and finish them in no time. Happy sewing! More on these next week. 

1 July 2015

Little Joys Quilt Along - Week 1

Who fancies some good old fashioned Christmas In July sewing!? Well I do, as I'm sure a lot of you will too so why don't you join in Fat Quarter Shop's Little Joys Quilt Along starting this week! We are making this really sweet wall hanging quilt designed by Elea Lutz, the mastermind behind this adorable fabric collection by PennyRose Fabrics, and that other really cute line Milk, Sugar & Flower. Yep, you know the one. 

We are starting with week 1 today, but don't worry about being late to the party, the first block isn't released until the 8th July. This week is all about getting our fabrics ready, which of course you can pick up from Fat Quarter Shop. They are also offering a quilt kit so you can be ready to go in no time! What's more the block patterns are free! There's no excuse not to join. So be sure to stop by the Jolly Jabber blog and check the Little Joys Quilt Along page each Wednesday for updates when the patterns are released. 

So who's sewing along? Some of my favourite blogger's, that's who. See below for details, and be sure to follow us on Instagram as it's an Instagram based quilt-along. I'm @messyjesse if you need to find me! 

Sedef of Down Grape Vine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
Nadra of Ellis & Higgs (@ellisandhiggs)
Tina of Emily Ann's Closet (@emilyannskloset)
Greg of Grey Dogwood Studio (@greydogwoodstudio)
Jessie of Messy Jesse (@messyjesse1)
Melissa of Oh How Sweet (@ohhowsweetco)
Kristyne of Pretty By Hand @prettybyhand)
Kerry of Very Kerry Berry (@verykerryberry)
Lisa of Vintage Modern Quilts (@vintagemodernquilts)
Erin of Why Not Sew (@whynotsewquilts)
Renee of Sewn With Grace (@sewnwithgrace)