Saturday, 31 March 2012

For the Love of Solids Swap - sent, received and delivered!

Woo hoo! I had mail yesterday.  I had very very good mail. My swap days...for now...were finally concluded.

You will recall I sent this to my partner in the For the Love of Solids swap.

It went to Pam in Florida and was received a week or so ago. Pam likes improv.log cabins and her favourite Kona colours are olive and peridot.  She sent a lovely email saying she was thrilled with it.

Then, as everyone who has ever participated in a swap will understand, I then remembered that part of the deal was that I would receive something too.  I waited..the mailman came and went...and then yesterday he handed over a large parcel of loveliness.  All the way from Australia.  All the way from Jeanette in New South Wales who can be found here at aussigonequilting.

Back in the depths of winter, I made this inspiration mosaic and made notes on the photos saying why I had picked each one.  I particularly loved the free form design on the tea towel top right hand corner and wrote rather bossily, 'I love love love the colours of this tea towel and this is what I`m thinking when it comes to colours'. Do click over and take a look.  It was the colours of the sea, improv.pieced and made using shot cottons.

Just take a look at what Jeanette sent me.

The most beautiful mini, in sea greens and blues, improv.pieced and made with the most amazing Oakshott cottons. I`ve seen Oakshott cottons across blogland but seeing them in person is another thing.  They are simply beautiful.  Look - the mini has no border.  Jeanette said she wanted to make a mini that looked like water moving and a traditional border didn`t work.  I love that so much.

If that wasn`t enough, Jeanette also sent me a cute pouch and the hugest pile of charm packs from her etsy shop because she imagined that living in Morocco, it may be tough to lay my hands on fabric!

This is going to be my last swap for a while but what a way to finish.  I love my mini package so much.  I love the sea and I am always taking photographs of it when I get the chance, and living in a hot and often uncomfortable city, I now have my own little piece of the sea to gaze at.  Thank you so much Jeanette for the most amazing mini - I love it!  Thank you also to swap mama Elizabeth for hosting such an amazing swap!

Retro Flowers QAL

You may have heard by now that there is a new QAL in town but perhaps you don`t have the deets.

Megan of City Stitches, the mama of my bee, We Bee Modern Too, and her mate Bianca of Sweet Diesel Designs have put their heads together and come up with a fab QAL for the Retro Flowers pattern by Christina at The Sometimes Crafter. It`s all about curves - don`t be afraid.  They are much easier than they look! Go conquer your fear of them.

Participants MUST buy the pattern to quilt along, Megan and Bianca will not be giving templates or explicit pattern details in their posts. It is only $10! It`s downloadable as a PDF.

Prizes will be sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop!
There will be 2 giveaways each featuring a Jelly Roll of your choice!
There will be 3 grand prizes each featuring a $75 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!
Guest Judges for the Grand Prizes include Rachel of  Stitched in Color, Nova of A Cuppa and a Catch Up, and Christina of The Sometimes Crafter.

Schedule of Posts
3/20: Welcome - Both
4/2: Templates/cutting - Bianca
4/9: Sewing curves - Megan
4/23: Piecing Blocks - Bianca
4/30: Piecing Quilt - Megan
5/7: Quilting by Machine - Bianca
5/14: Quilting by Hand - Megan
5/21: Thank you/Linky Party opens - Both
6/1: Deadline to link up

There`s also a flickr group: so why not head on over there.  There are already well over a hundred members and they`re chatting away and posting fabric.  

Have fun!

Friday, 30 March 2012

My Modern Muse - Hadley at Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle

It`s the last day of the current My Modern Muse series.  I am so excited to have today`s guest with me.  She`s as sassy and fun as she is creative and talented and has a heart of gold. Last but not least, I have the inimitable Hadley from Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle with me in Marrakech today.

I decided to take Hadley on a trek in the beautiful and verdant Ourika Valley.  Here is a photo of our trusty steeds. It was a bumpy ride at times but Hadley was good enough to share with me a little about what inspires her.

Annabella Welcome to Morocco Hadley. For those who don’t know you, how would you describe your style?
Hadley I’m not sure I have a style, I like modern fabrics, and don’t purport to do anything that a lot of modern quilters aren’t doing too; I don’t like twee, or what is probably best described as ‘old fashioned’.  I like graphic prints, I don’t like fussy, or wishy-washy; you won’t catch me making anything in pastel peach batik! 

Annabella So what inspired you to take up quilting in the first place?
Hadley It’s a story I have mentioned before, but I wanted to do something with some of the fabric samples I’d collected over the year I was completing my Interior Design City & Guilds; I wanted a souvenir and also some way to use them, so I invented modern quilting! Honestly, two years ago I had no idea this was something people aged under 70 did too! I then went to the V&A for the Quilts exhibition as part of my 40th birthday weekend in London and there was no going back.

Don’t tell anyone, but I am not a fan of ‘fancy’ quilting!  I admire anyone who can do all the feathering and other complex quilting designs, but they just aren’t my style at all.

Hadley`s Brit Bee Constellation quilt
Annabella When you are offline, what things in life inspire you to create your beautiful quilts?
Hadley I quilt and sew to keep myself sane, oh yes, and am always thinking about what I’d like to be making, especially whilst I am in meetings at work!  I love the thought that what I am making is unique; and for the quilts that I have given as gifts, I think this makes them all the more special. 
I see patterns in brickwork, and everyday objects; and unlikely things get me daydreaming; I have also reached the point when if my hands aren’t busy sewing, or maybe trying to get to grips with crochet, then I’ll more often than not have pen and paper in hand, writing lists of things to make or occasions that need a quilty touch!

Made in Cherry
Annabella Apart from your immediate family, who has been your greatest creative inspiration in your life and why?
Hadley I come from artistic stock; my father is a photographer and painter; he now makes modern stained glass too, so I have been surrounded by art and creativity all my life.  It’s not genetic though!  I can’t draw anything that doesn’t require a ruler to save my life. 

I took an O Level in Dressmaking, a long time ago when I probably needed about half the fabric I’d need now, and I also did Graphic Design, which I love.  My teachers and family were always supportive, but I took the mathematical, sociological road!

My husband is the artistic one – I am the brains (ha ha), I tend to have an idea in my head, but need him to put it on paper/screen.  We are a team!

Annabella Which blog do you find a constant source of inspiration?
Hadley The first quilting blog I followed was filminthefridge at the time Ashley was churning out so many awesome quilts; many were simple patchwork squares but the most amazing fabrics I had ever seen, I still check out every post but there are so many others that I cannot narrow it down, your good self included of course!

Annabella Can you tell me a little about the beautiful quilt you have brought with you?
Hadley I love my Happy Scrappy quilt – because it just is!!  It started as part of a QAL over at Aneela’s Comfort Stitching blog, but I just went on and did my own thing.

Happy Scrappy quilt
It’s not a huge quilt in the slightest, only about 45” square, but at the time I made it, it was full of techniques totally new to me, wonky log cabins, fussy cut centres and using up so many different fabrics.  It made me happy when I was making it, it was my first flickr Explore! and it was my first real experience of the whole modern quilting community.

Annabella  Do you have a favourite quilting book Hadley?
Hadley The first books I bought were Material Obsession I& II.  I have to admit I haven’t made anything from them but I just love the colours and potential they exude.  One day I will make one of those huge beauties!

Annabella I know you love pinterest so where can people find you?
Hadley Of course I pin, although I am not as prolific as many others.  I do get a buzz when I get the emails to say someone has re-pinned something I have pinned.  I know they are interested in the original tutorial or quilt, but I like the confirmation that I must have great taste!  I am here  It’s kind of cool when I see that someone has pinned something of mine too!  I feel flattered, not like calling a lawyer!
Annabella Is there something (a design, technique) you haven’t tried yet that you would love to do?
Hadley Well thanks to Katy at thelittlestthistlecraftshop I am honing my paper-piecing skills…

Hadley`s Circle of Geese block

I am in awe of Ayumi and Kerry and would love to be able to get my ideas onto fabric.  I have managed to break down pictures into component parts, but that’s as far as I have got; the TARDIS probably should have been paper-pieced, but I hadn’t got the skills then.


I would also like to have a go at improv, your Modern Mini quilt is a stunner – go on, show the lovely people again, I love it so much! (The people who just look at the pictures will think I made it!).
Annabella This is your interview but if you really insist...

Annabella Do you find there is a color palette you come back to again and again?
Hadley I had a bit of pink overkill when I started buying fabric, and then I avoided it for a while but I am starting to feel the love again.  I lean towards the green-turquoise-aqua side of the spectrum, along with grey and orange; I tend to run screaming from most brown and red, (there are exceptions!).

Annabella Who is a creative inspiration you would most love to have 30 minutes of their time and why?
Hadley Well it couldn’t be anyone too famous, as I would just blush, talk utter crap, forget to breathe and disgrace myself!  So now anyone I pick will think they are not A-list, bugger! So if I could pull myself together, I think it would be some of the Gee’s Bend ladies.  I think they would be infinitely more fascinating than well-to-do ladies with their white-washed lofts and multi-line fabric deals.

Annabella Who is your favorite designer?
HadleyI have way too many; every time I think I can narrow it down to 3 or 4, I think of another half a dozen.  Denyse Schmidt can do no wrong in my eyes, and that may justify why I just spent an obscene amount on the Flea Market Fancy reprint.  I am part-truly upset, and part-relieved that we do not have Joanns or Spotlight in the UK, or I would be big trouble with my husband!

Annabella  Why do you think quilting has become so popular again?
Hadley I am so not at all qualified to answer this, and maybe it is just that blogging and other modern technology has made it look popular again.  Even my village has an old-timers traditional quilting and patchwork group; I suspect those old dears were young once too!  I think the social side of quilting has exploded from the confines of the small groups, that would meet in person, to worldwide groups of like-minded people sharing their loves and makes instantly via flickr and blogs.
Some of our American friends seem to have been involved in more ‘modern quilting’ for a long time, maybe it’s just elsewhere, where we are just starting to re-kindle the desire for home-makery, quilting, sewing, knitting and cooking.  OK, not so much about the cooking round at my place!
The fact that online communities can also become real-life friends is also part of it.  Fat Quarterly Retreat is going to be the best internet dating meet-up ever!
Thank you so much for having me, I can’t wait until June xxx

Annabella I`ve loved having you here today Hadley and can`t wait to meet you again in June!

If you don`t know Hadley, do pop over to her`s and say`hi`. Thank you to all the other wonderful ladies who shared their thoughts throughout the month. If you missed any of the other interviews, here`s the list.  Just click on the link!

Jennifer at Ellison Lane quilts
Laura at Needles Pins & Baking Tins
Sarah at Fairyface Designs
Jennifer at The Enchanted Bobbin
Toni at Hoosier Toni
Susan at Canadian Abroad
Di at Random Thoughts Do or `Di`
Leanne at She Can Quilt