Sunday 22 July 2012

Go Go Gadget Gorgeous Georgetown Carnival …

Yay!  I’ve made my first Lynne@Lily'sQuilts fab new EPP block - the Georgetown Carnival  … I’d been playing with Katy I’mAGingerMonkey’s Spring Carnival so I already had tons of papers cut … To see if I liked it, I decided not to adapt any of my existing blocks but to start from scratch … (the only proviso being gingham had to be included)


So, I raided my stash for deliciously luscious solids including Kona Aqua (the first time I’ve ever used it! can you believe it?!) and my last scrap of a Kaffe shot cotton in green/pink. 

The background fabric is a wonderful heavy silky grey linen from MLM (MyLinenMan)


I’ve been using my Go! Baby 2.5” strip die to cut my squares … it’s a genius way of accurately cutting stacks at a time. I can cram about 8 layers into this baby.

… ssshhh don’t tell anyone at Accuquilt, but I cut my hexagon papers with it too! I think the trick to tools like the Go! Baby is to get them to work for you, rather than have them sit gathering dust. 


I use the Go cutting mat as a ruler to precut my strips. 
I really don’t mind losing the little side strips of fabric you get as wastage.  I use em for tying tomato plants or parcels.

If I’ve got something accurate to work with at the start of the process I’m less likely to waste time trimming and faffing later …

TOP TIP Roll a bit of scrap wadding into a ball and rub to get all the threads out of the blade part of the cutter and the grooves in the cutting mat. Works a treat.

token cat snuggling fabric pic

IMG_4093IMAG0005As I’m going to be appliqueing the blocks onto linen, I thought it might be fun to try adding some hexies to the original ferris wheel … might cut them into halves.

I think the sharp triangles of negative space are cool, but not sure if I like it that much … I need to see it with fabric …

I’m away for a few days this week, so it’s nice to have an on-the-go project to pack!  And such bright cheery colours too … yumtastic!  Thanks for the inspiration Lynne …

I’ll be posting a couple of new Master Your GIMP tutes at the end of next week – including how to create a blog header from scratch… In the meantime, it’s off with the puter and on with the bikini thimble  … may your week be sunny ...

Friday 20 July 2012

Through the Hexagonal Window …

No nerdy tutorial today as I’ve had a day of cutting fabric and playing with hexagons, squares and triangles!

I started piecing with gingham for Katy@ ImAGingerMonkey’s Spring Carnival a while ago and I’d decided that I was going to applique them onto individual blocks of some beautiful heavy dark grey linen, to allow me to treat it more like a sampler quilt.

I’d like to do a wholecloth applique, but I’ve read so many posts in the past from people saying in retrospect that they wish they’d pieced in blocks, that I’m as yet undecided.

epp 20072012


I thought I’d try using the negative space of the grey a little more …

Then Lynne@Lily'sQuilts just posted about one of her annual summer epp projects – a kind of mutant spring carnival block – The Georgetown Carnival

So, I just had a little jigsaw play with what I had already basted … I think it’s a wondrous good idea … and with some careful fabric planning could be just delicious!  Yay! I’m thinking a mahusive, many-rowed centre piece could look pretty funky too ...

What is it about the summer that makes us all rush to the EPP?  What have you got planned?

Thursday 19 July 2012

Grr … Master your GIMP Tutorial 3 - More Clipping - AGAIN!

Yeah, so I like totes deleted a whole set of posts just after I had published them  Duhhhh.  Sorry to confuse you or your Reader … Maybe I should do a Master your Blogger post next … ahem …

master your inner GIMP

So Anyway … today in Tutorial 3 – More Clipping with Select by Colour & Fill tools we will shift the focus onto the Menu tools to use some nifty shortcuts that produce the same effects as in Tutorial 1 and Tutorial 2 … As always there are a variety of ways to do things and these little tools are great for building skill.

This tutorial introduces the Select By Colo(u)r tool - which is really really useful and can be used to remove backgrounds from images with the minimum of fuss (to be covered another day).  

I used one of my photos of Monica @TheHappyZombie’s fab Winterkist line ...

winter final

... Then I attacked it good and proper with some filters and stuff:


Please be aware that if you use pictures of someone’s pretty fabric to clip pretty letters to use to publicise your blog or shop you are most likely going against copyright because you are modifying someone else’s original design. 

If you use a picture of something pretty you made using pretty fabrics to clip pretty letters (like the ampersand on my header) you will probably be ok.  Just sayin.

Anyway, here’s the link to Tutorial 3 - More Clipping 

… and here it is embedded …

… and here’s the link to all the tutes together.  Peace Out.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Master Your GIMP Tutorial 2 - Image to Silhouette -


Edited to Add
- Unfortunately I deleted yesterday's Tute 2 post

(yeah, get me, so geeky I can’t even manage my blog posts!)

… so I’m just re-embedding it here – and here’s the link to download Master your GIMP Tutorial 2: Background to Silhouette where we cut some text from a background.

Click here for link to all the tutes together.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Master Your Gimp - Tutorial 1 - Text from Photos

master your inner GIMP
Today’s click by click GIMP tutorial introduces the basics and shows you an easy peasy quick way to cut a small amount of text out of a background image.  You can download the pdf here or read it embedded in the blog.  

The idea behind these tutes is that they will help build your skills to arm you with confidence and everything you need to create a new blog banner!

If you want to cut large amounts of text you need to do something slightly different with the layers, so you’ll need tomorrow’s silhouette tutorial.  Enjoy!

Monday 16 July 2012

Rain Starts Play!

I’m on holiday for the next four weeks – Yay!  The joy of being a bit of a nerd is that I don’t really care if it thunders and pours … I have plenty of stuff I can do if it’s raining!
So, I decided to start with my poor neglected blog.

IMG_3897ampersandI redesigned the header using my lovely squishy shotton dotton cotton quilt for the ampersand.

I haven’t really squealed enough here about using the Oakshotts – so stay tuned for a post about shot cottons and synaesthesia!   

I’ve put in a left sidebar for connecty stuff and added some in-progress pages that have languished in draft for too long.  These pages are now above the header, which I think looks better.
  • new Tutorials page
  • links to my fave fabric shops (mostly UK and etsy)
  • link to my Tumblr “Pingterest” <—geddit? page, where I’m posting my Instagram pics.  I find it handy to be able to access them from my laptop.

  • master your inner GIMPTo make a change from stitchery I thought it would be fun to share my nerd love, so I’m starting a Master Your GIMP *snigger* tutorial series from tomorrow. D'ya like the slutty leopard skin frame?  LOL
If you don’t know GIMP (it stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program) it’s an open source graphics program (free to download and use) like Photoshop.

These tutorials have click-by-click screenshot instructions, so are suitable for absolute beginners as well as more frequent users of graphics programs.  

Like sewing HSTs or poaching eggs, there are myriad ways to do these things, so I’m just sharing the methods that work most consistently for me.

These tutes are meant to help build your basic skills and confidence by getting you used to working with layers and tools.  Hey, sounds like quilting! LOL ... In a week you'll have the skills and know how to create a new blog header!


Tutorial 1: Text from Background Image 


Tutorial 2: Background to Silhouette - How to cut clip Art and longer text from photos.

 Tutorial 3: More Clipping 

I'll also cover a bit on removing backgrounds from images.

Is there anything that you would like to see a nerdy tutorial for?  

Leave a comment below and I’ll see what I can do. What do you think of the new blog look?

Wednesday 11 July 2012

3rd Quarter Finish-Along - ta-da/to-do

Hello if you’re playing along over at Rhonda’s for the 3rd Quarter Finish-Along.  Hello if you’re not.  That’s everyone covered. 

July?  Really?  Summer? Really? 

Due to circs beyond, I missed the deadline for what I managed to finish last quarter, but aside from my Quilt of Good Intentions for Siblings Together, which has been finished and sent off to its new home, there was zilcho action, so this is a ta-da/to-do post …

Frankly, we could save us a heap of time if we just went to my 2nd quarter post - you’ll see the same guiltily unfinished projects.  Sometimes I feel like my Finish-Along journey is akin to visiting a home for unwanted abandoned pets - you love them all but can’t commit to only one so end up leaving empty handed.


Obese Swoon is far too big for my pathetically weedy machine and my sanity, so I’m going to wait until (a) I get a new machine OR b) I have saved enough to have it long-arm quilted.

 So, she has a bye until next quarter.

1.  This one, however is still shivering like a whippet in the cage of shame and is my first entry into the next quarter:


The Not The Wedding Quilt was finally deconstructed back to triangles about half way through last quarter.  It has remained thus for the remaining half of the quarter, so it’s a must do for the summer.

Unfortunately, I am still not even started on piecing the Wedding Quilt Mark II that this is supposed to be replaced by – Hey, Rhonda? Wanna rename this the Start-Along? …

2.  Next up is my FQ Winterkist Designer Challenge, which I need to finish by the end of August.

I’m going to rag quilt a Crimbo Bath Mat …

These are the fabrics Lynne@LilysQuilts sent me … Squeee! I love Monica@HappyZombie’s eye for detail in her prints.  The colours are lovely – not too highly saturated - the red is a lovely Heinz Tomato Soup red …

2012-06-27 11.27.19

Hols are beckoning (from next Monday YAY!)  and I’m hoping that a ridiculous amount of time will be filled with lovely languid EPP-ing –

I’m doing a scrappy gingham-centric version of Katy@ ImAGingerMonkey’s Spring Carnival and not putting myself under any finishing pressure for that  …

Peace out.

Monday 2 July 2012

Siblings Together - a quilt and its story

When Lynne@LilysQuilts put out a tentative call for quilty contributions to Siblings Together it was a no-brainer for me.
I’m so so lucky.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have been separated from my half-brother, AJ, when I was growing up.  He was 16 years older than me.  He was my hero.  He played the trombone.   He was wickedly funny and at times extremely mean.  He could do requests on comb and paper.  He died in July 2010 and he is the reason I started sewing again.  It seemed only right to make a quilt to celebrate siblingdom.

Coincidentally, I had started a quilt on New Year’s Eve 2010/2011 which I named my Quilt of Good Intentions (a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it got consigned to the WIP box round about Feb 2011!) 

Well, I was determined to come good with the intentions, and so the blocks got a revamp and my Siblings Quilt is the result.


For fabric nerds, the main solids are Kona Charcoal and Chartreuse, piecing was mainly from my stash & Cheater Friday fabric by MelanieSullivan@TexasFreckles found here on Spoonflower **Edited to add: Spoonflower also sponsored our quilt labels, I got mine from the super organised  Laura@NeedlesPins&BakingTins. 


So, that’s the story of this quilt, and now, with label attached, QOGI is ready to be sent on to its new owner. My brother never got to cuddle his quilt so I just love that I now have a connection with another ‘sibling’ somewhere.  Quilts, just like siblings, need to share memories.  

Swim, Bike, Quilt
I know that the quilty community is very generous and I know that many of you give to your own favourite causes, but just in case you're after a little something to do there are other opportunities to get you into giving action here at the 100 quilts for kids blog hop over at SwimBikeQuilt.

.... or you could just go revel in all the wonderfully generous siblings together quilty linky loveliness over at Lily'sQuilts 

Sunday 1 July 2012

Fresh Sewing Day – June

Lily's Quilts

Ho Hum … not a tremendous amount of sewing going on this month, but it’s been ages since I linked up to Lynne@LilysQuilts Fresh Sewing Day, so I thought I’d just jump on in  with something that's been so yummy to make …

I finally finished top and backing (linen and scraps) for my shotton dotton cotton quilt using my oakshott shot cottons charm pack and my own polka dot charm pack … this is going to be quilted with double lofty batting to make it really squishy …

Photographs really don’t capture the glory of these fabrics! I'm going to spray baste the little darling this week, so maybe I'll manage a finish next month!

Other than that, really just spending time pootling about with EPP …

doodling with epp

What have you created this month?  Link up here and go show some support at the Small Blog Meet too … 


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