Monday, 29 September 2014

A Giveaway...............Who Knew?

That I would still be blogging after 5 years!! Yes, I have just passed my 5th Blog Birthday and have not quite hit 500 posts. I did intend to have both those factors coincide but hey, life goes on and in the big scheme of things, it's not very important is it?

Coming up to this milestone has made me think a lot about my blog, whether or not I should close the door on it or keep going. Blogging has shifted in recent months, maybe even in the last year. Has it changed for you too??

I started Bluepatchquilter as a link from one session of classes to another, to keep my ladies in touch over the big summer break. Little did I know that I would be discovering a whole new world online.........somewhere to discover the new enthusiasm for patchwork & quilting. Somewhere to learn new techniques, drool over new fabrics, new designers............where I made new online friends, all over the world, friends with a common purpose and interest..where sometimes virtual life morphed into real life.

I amazed myself that I managed to create my blog, all on my own. I learned as time went on that if ever "stuck" with techie issue, there is always someone to help.

I have dabbled in online swaps and become part of a fun Bee, I have taken part in charity drives and been humbled by the way quilters everywhere lend a hand to help bring warmth and comfort where needed.

I used to put myself under quite a bit of pressure to post regularly, it always seemed terribly important to get a lot of followers, I followed lots of other blogs and reading took up a great deal of time............and then there was Flickr & Pinterest too to keep up with.

Then along came Instagram and I think IG also stands for instant gratification, because response to mini IG posts is so quick - I tend to use it when I am at home, alone, quilting - it feels sometimes as if you have friends doing just the same, wherever they may be.

In conclusion, I don't think I need to dramatically stop posting - I shall just continue in my new, relaxed manner and post when I feel like it. I have been watching my stats over the past few months and I seem to have a lot of visitors per post but fewer comments. And that's fine because I think that parallels the way I am reading too, I don't always comment.

Anyway, in the time honoured tradition of anniveraries etc, I shall announce a bit of a giveaway. I have a few items to offer so perhaps the easiest question is for you to say in order, in a comment, which item you would like to win. 1,2 or 3. No other hoops to jump through - open to anyone, I shall try to remember to pick a winner by next Monday which will be 6th October, by 9pm GMT or BST or whatever our time thingy is here in the UK.

Offer 1 has to be one of my Mega Pinnies

Number 2 is a cushion cover made for a workshop - the colour is a coral pink (Kate Spain fabric if that helps pin it down) The cushion cover is quilted both back & front so quite luxurious. I will send it minus the cushion pad, for obvious reasons. I think it's about 18" square.

and finally, number 3 is a bit of a mystery prize as I forgot to take pics and now it's too dark - I have a couple of pieces of voile, possibly AMH, not sure, and a wee zippy pouch, it's a flat one, no gusset (horrible word!) I might even throw in a spool of Aurifil because blogging introduced me to that too.

Good luck everyone.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Few Finishes

As another Finish Along quarter end approaches, I anticipate total failure - however I have been tidying up some other unfinished stuff.

Oh, and a tiny, new quick make - a gift, or what they call up here, "a minding". A key fob, using a little Liberty from my SG goodie bag.

Then I pulled the finger out and finished off the second sample I made for my recent workshop, this one is for me as the background fabric, a linen/cotton mix was a gift from a friend and I have waited for just the right project.

and lastly, for now, I finished off the sample I semi prepped for the Stitch Gathering.

This one will be gifted but I might just have another and I might just have a significant Blog Birthday coming up - stay tuned...................

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Review Time

On Sunday past, it was the 2nd Stitch Gathering, a Modern Quilt Retreat, in Edinburgh. Last year I was lucky enough to be one of the teachers at the inaugural event and really, you would never think it could be bettered.....but, Jo & Jonathan pulled it off again. What a brilliant day.

Our venue had changed, for the better. Lots of parking outside and lots of room inside.
The day began with registration and handing in our "tickets" - this year our ticket was a calico bag that we had to embellish in whatever way we fancied. Later in the day it would be handed to our allocated swap partner. This was the bag I had doctored -

After meet & greet, it was time for class - this year I was teaching my Mega Pinnie - I had a great bunch to teach and everyone had a finish at the end of the session - what a result!! I must also say a big thank you to the lovely Alison for being my class helper.
Let me show you some pics I took along the way..........

At lunchtime we all enjoyed a lovely spread and then had the chance to shop - Jo had brought lots of goodies with her from her shop, and she kindly agreed to me having a mini Aurifil pop up shop so I was able to spread the Aurifil love to lots of ladies.

We also did our bag swap. Mine went to Di - I was so happy to have her as my secret partner as she is in my online Bee and I really wanted to make her bag quite special. Di came to the SG with 
Trudi of Quilting Prolifically fame and I totally lucked out by receiving the bag she had made for me. I was beyond chuffed. Her quilting skills are legendary and you can see this in the following pics. Inside, the bag is lined and includes a zipped pocket. I absolutely love it - thank you Trudi. 
If you think you might need the services of a longarm quilter, look no further than Trudi, her work is FAB - U - LUSS.

In the afternoon, more classes and this time I was able to enjoy being the learner as I took part in Fiona's Reverse Applique hoop - by hand. We had a lovely, relaxing session and a mini show & tell.

Last year, our tickets to the SG were printed on fabric and we were asked to embellish it in some way. All of those 6" "tickets" were transformed into this fabulous quilt and raffled on Sunday, for Maggie's Centres, a wonderful charity. I think over £600 was raised.

Of course, no retreat would be complete without Goodie Bags - unbelievable!! I have left mentioning it until now because I want to take a moment to thank all of the sponsors who generously helped to make our bags so brilliant.

So, in no particular order, a huge thanks to the following -
1. Aurifil, for some thread.
2. Nairns, for some biscuits.
3. Pilot, for one of their brilliant Frixion pens.
4. Coats, for some needles & threads.
5. Dashwood, for a FQ.
6. Love P&Q for a copy of their magazine.
7. DMC for embroidery thread.
9. Groves & Banks for lovely embroidery scissors.
10. Liberty, for a lovely baby cord tote bag & Tana lawn sample.
11.Blend Fabrics for some fabric.
12. Robert Kaufman for a 5 FQ bundles (!!)
13. myBearpaw for some DMC perle cotton & some beads.

I shall end this very long post by saying a huge thank you to Jo & Jonathan - your organisational skills are amazing. I heard so many positive comments throughout the day so be very proud of your achievements. Here's to 2015.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

My August

I'm way too late to be linking my August up but I thought I'd sum it all up anyway.

The first half was all about Bee Blocks and I was intrigued by Nicky's choice of a Nordik theme with no prescriptive design or size. I came up with these blocks.
Nicky also started planning ahead for her quilts for Siblings Together and asked me if I thought the ladies in my classes might like to help out with a block or two - they certainly did and the first batch went off to her last week.

I have another pile waiting to go and happy to accept more.

I made a start on a little baby quilt, more pram sized really - it was inspired by Hadley's quilt that was featured in last month's Quilt Now. I cut the tumblers using my Accuquilt Go.

All my classes are now underway with their Modern Sampler and I made some blocks in my new colourway.

And on the last day of August I held my Christmas in August workshop - this was a challenging session of foundation piecing with a cushion as the final goal. The pattern was Not So Spring Deer from Julianna at Sewing Under Rainbow. Julianna graciously agreed to me using her pattern in my workshop. All the ladies made excellent progress and here is one of the finished cushion fronts - made by Audrey. Isn't it stunning!

I have made a great start to September but will keep that for another day!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Into the Groove

Well, I couldn't call it Back to School again.

Yes, schools are back here in Scotland and my classes resumed last week. It seemed for a moment there that Summer was over but the weather picked up again and we enjoyed a pretty good weekend. I am sorry if your Bank Holiday today was not blessed with sunshine.

So I am running four classes this year, two in Week 1 and two in Week 2 - everyone is following one main project, The Modern Sampler. Basically there are four different blocks although a couple will have variations - and then the quilt will be layered up in 3 main sections and joined using Quilt As You Go techniques.
One of the things I love about teaching a project is seeing the variety of fabric and colours that are chosen. All these different choices come together to make very different quilts. I finished making the one in the above picture in January this year and recently decided (as always!!) that I might as well make another, along with my classes. I find demonstration is the best form of tuition, and everyone loves it if I mess up like on Wednesday when I didn't notice my wee mechanical machine was still set to zig zag and I had my 1/4" foot on - oops!!
So I have chosen a very different palette to the one above. I pulled a fat 1/8th bundle of Cuzco by Kate Spain, from my stash and decided to go for a b & w spotty background, very different for me.

Just before classes started back I asked my students if they would like to make some blocks for Nicky's Siblings Together drive. Here is what turned up on the first week, also in the post and to my door...........

and a few more,

Thank you ladies, you are all brilliant!!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A Kaffe Treat

Shared by a friend who is in Aberdeen at the moment and caught the exhibition.Enjoy.

Kaffe Fassett: 50 Years in Colour from Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums on Vimeo.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

136 Days Until Christmas

A fresh month always means new Bee blocks to be done. This month the Queen Bee in our Bee a Brit Stingy Bee is Nicky and she has thrown us a curved ball. She plans a Winter quilt and has asked for blocks of a Scandinavian feel - we can choose or design the blocks ourselves and we have a choice of sizes. She favours red, cream and aqua and from what I have seen so far, this is shaping up to be a glorious quilt.
I have enjoyed raking about looking for blocks and have made a couple of FP trees which will finish at 3" and a 9" block inspired by knitting patterns.  I have more up my sleeve..........

Nicky obviously has the bit between her teeth this month. She is already involved with Siblings Together and has decided to make an early start on quilts for this great cause, that will be needed next summer! She has come up with a really simple block that has a great look when multiplied in a quilt. I made this one very quickly because as many of you know I underwent an organisational epiphany last month so have a box of 2.5" strips just waiting for such a project. Maybe you have some Jelly Roll strips lying about?

Nicky is hoping for each block to be kept to a colour family with the diagonal steps in white, and running in either direction to allow flexibility in block layout. Nicky knocked up this whole top last week..........
If anyone is interested in helping Nicky, I have a quick handout here for making the block.

I also made good progress on my Advent Calendar, just waiting for a fabric delivery to finish, and I finished off the second Tree Skirt. So again, nearly everything I have been doing this week is related to Christmas, or Winter!! As I look out of the window at the moment, I could be forgiven for thinking it is already Winter.
And I bought my first Christmas pressies today! I blame my daughter who is a Christmas Day baby and always encourages me into early shopping...................


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