Athens time

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

London second go

Hi everyone,

Isn't this linky party fabulous? A HUGE thank you to all of you lovely people who have written to me and a sincere apology for not writing back (yet) :-)

Two things;

1)I saw some great posts where people have posted a picture of themselves. What a great idea! I should have done that the first time around, so am having a second go. So now you can really pull my sleeve and say "Hi"!!! (only I won't have the dog under my arm:-)

2)Hopefully you all will excuse me for my tardiness if I show you what my kitchen looks like at the moment!

I'm having a big internal move on and have to clear the decks a little before leaving to see you all. I'm hoping to have some time on thursday morning to pull fabrics and pack. Luckily I'm blessed with some amazing friends who have stepped into the breach to help me out (sewing wise). Once my house is back in order and things are slowing down again I will call in this huge debt! It's in time's like these you will find your true friends coming forward. I appreciate you!!

So definitely see you all at the meet and please don't be upset if I haven't written you back yet, I'll make up for it in person !!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Who loves Rashida ?

Quick.... go HERE and you can download her 'I love patchwork' book as an e-book for $0.10 (that's 7 pence in UK money!).

But be quick, it's for two days only. After that it'll be RRP $19.95 again !

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Amazing Bearpaw - Mega giveaway

Have you been to visit Jo Avery of Bearpaw yet?

No? High time you did! This super friendly, very crafty lady can be found in a variety of locations.

Jo blogs at Bearpaw blog and is making lots of super original crafty things. Click on "Bearpaw" here.

She also has a shop in Edinburgh, selling homewares and recently has expanded to included fantastic craft items, including but not limited to scrumptious wool and fantastic fabric! Go "HERE" to visit and have a look.

Not only that, but a selection of all these goodies are now available by mail order. Click "HERE"

Last but not least, Jo is passing on the knowledge and has expanded her super evening classes to also offering day courses. Click "HERE" for more info.

Phew... just summing up what Jo does is taking some time, and I did not even get to the part what a great blog friend and nice person she is. You'd have just to go and experience for yourselves.

If you are near Edinburgh, you are lucky!! You can pop into the shop, have a chat and a browse or even better, take one of the classes. If you are not, you can still peruse the website and order online.

My only gripe is that I cannot do the classes as I live to far away! But that's hardly Jo's fault :-)

Now the bit you have all been waiting for, the GIVEAWAY!

Isn't it glorious? To celebrate the new craft venture, Jo is having a mega giveaway. If you want to enter, go to her blog and follow the instructions.

Where was the blog again? It's "BEARPAW". Best of luck everyone!!

When we meet in London....

We always have a whale of a time!

When we met last in April 2010 for the Exhibition at the V&A, it all came together super! The weather was fine, the exhibition was great, it was brilliant to meet up with bloggers you have corresponded with and followed blogs of, and what's more, they were all great people who were as nice as they are on their blogs. I was really struck by the warmth of their welcome.

(all these ladies kindly gave permission for me to post this on this blog in 2010, little did they know it would take me two years, lol!)

In the photo from left to right, Aneela, Tacha, Concha, Brioni and Katy. Tacha, Brioni and Katy from FQ will (of course) be there this time too and I am really looking forward to meeting them again. They are super ladies.

I'm also looking forward to meeting those bloggers with whom I correspond often but not have met yet! And last but not least, we will all make lots of new friends.

Ok... for those who have not met me yet, a small potted history;

I started quilting in 2009 (after a false start in 2004 for a couple of months)and stumbled on blogging by accident coming across a blog whilst googling for 'quilting'. Before I knew it I had jumped into blogland (scary at the time but wow, what a ride since!)and now am having to restrict the amount of blogs I follow or one could be at the computer all day!

I have been largely absent on the net and quilting scene for the last couple of years for personal reasons. Amongst others, I have been trying to find work and thrown myself into that 24 hrs a day, no making any time for myself and sewing at all. Do you do that? Feeling guilty if you relax and do something for fun? I certainly do. But I have finally realized that however much of yourself and your time you throw into something, it might still not have the desired result. I have also realized that trying to relax and take time out sometimes, does equip you better for really going for it at other times. Therefore, as of May 2012, a new era has started. Marguerite is back online and back to sewing (or rather, I'm on my way, not a lot of actual sewing and blogging has taken place as yet).

I am SO looking forward to sewing, catching up, learning, making new friends and sitting about relaxing and chatting. It's going to be epic meeting so many of you! Thanks for popping in and if you like what you see, please stay and follow, the more the merrier!

See you all in London!xoxo

(oh, and if I appear to ignore you, just come and say 'hi' please, I am a great one for having the mental blinkers on when I am thinking about something else and would pass my own mother in the street without noticing! so no offence meant in that case, you are welcome to just barge in and interrupt my thoughts, *grin*, see ya there !)

Friday, 18 May 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Several years ago, there were whispers going around in the quilting community "Park City Girl is doing an online Festival". Soon we flocked around and it was SO much fun, we hardly could wait till another year had passed...

From those very enjoyable but humble beginnings, Amy, now blogging at Amy's Creative Side, has led and grown this event both to bi-annual and enormous proportions.

Click HERE (on the green button did not seem to work... sorry) to go to her linky site

so you can visit all the beautiful quilts displayed. It's better than a quilt show as not only are there more quilts, you can get to know the quilters through their blog and the stories behind the quilts you are seeing!

I have missed a few since that beginning (yep, I was there!) but I am happy to enter a quilt of mine for this Spring edition.

...and here it is. 'Sweet Mum Quilt'. At the time I was hanging around a lot at the Old Red Barn Flickr site. Dana had done a lovely quiltalong and we, the participants, made so many friends there, that we persuaded Dana to keep going. I was making this quilt for my mum's 90th birthday and it took some doing (not having made many quilts before, nor having done applique at all, ever...or handquilting come to think of it) and my Old Red Barners were constantly asking.. 'how is the quilt for your sweet mum coming along?' Hence the title.

This is her face when she first opened the parcel. Although she knew I was quilting, she did not know I was making anything for her! (and she did know I was terribly busy with other things... in fact, I had sewn on the label at 10 mins past midnight the day before her birthday...(so being after midnight, that WAS her birthday) talking about cutting things fine!:-)

What did I learn? Many things.... first and foremost that even when you cut out all the pieces very accurately as per pattern instructions, it does not mean it always fits....

and that it then takes a lot of trial and error (read muttering under breath and emitting big pearl drops of anxiety sweat) before you (as a beginner) have found the solution!

Of course I have since sworn blind that the square corners were in the pattern, lol! You won't tell anyone won't you?

Also, never having done applique before, the centre rose was very troublesome...

Before I stumbled upon the freezer paper method, I marked out the pattern on the back of the fabric (as I was taught in traditional piecing) and then tried to 'sort of' fold it under till the line (which I could not see...). I do feel so stupid now, but hey, all of you beginners who didn't know either might feel a bit happier you are not the only one who had to start from scratch :-)

After I had finished and quilted the entire quilt, I took off the centre piece and redid it in it's entirety. The advice of many saying 'nobody knows if you don't point it out' did not have any results.. "I" would know and forever regret it. Serves me right for being somewhat of a perfectionist (even though nothing I have made is totally perfect, I try!).

A first was also the handquilting. It took a long time, I shadow quilted most of the applique, but it was good as doing so much of it, taught me a lot and my stitches are now more regular and even than at the beginning of the quilt.

Much more than what I learnt making this quilt, is what I received and that was the happy smile of my mum, who not only appreciated the work that had gone into it, but mostly was bowled over with the time I had taken to make something especially for her and the thought that was behind it. You are welcome mum <3

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Stash Organisation

How do you organise your stash?

I have read several posts on this in blogland over a time. Some people go by size (metres, half metres, FQ's together), some by colour (whatever the size) and some by designer (especially if you are MAD about one particular one!

I am having a bit of a move around of furniture and resolved to get all my fabric, which is in several places at the moment, in one place. That was a good idea! One box contained fabrics from when I very first started.....

Not knowing anything about patchwork and quilting at all, I thought I'd give it a go, and stepped into a (general) fabric shop. The shop was recommended to me and famous in the area. So I asked for quilting fabrics and, was directed to a shelf with poly cottons. The shop owner then also sighed heavily at having to cut the minimum cut off several bolts as well.

I tried and cut and snipped and sewed back together (backstitch of course)and somehow it didn't work that well... only I could not work out why!!

Here is that first little pile (minus the pink)that I bought. I still have it and sorting out the fabrics today, I decided that it will have to go. I don't think it is of use to anyone but if you fancy some polycottons, just drop me a line and I'd be happy to send them to you.

So.... as I am rearranging the rest of the fabrics...;

How do YOU organise your stash? I'd be interested to know. At the moment, I am doing a little of each. Some bigger pieces together, others just mixed in, a lot of leftovers of projects together (as they 'go' together) and a lot of designer together too (yup, can't stay away from the favourites).

Not discarding any of the cottons yet.. you never know when you might need them (or should I....???)

Woodpecker Sunday

Yesterday I admired Jackie's photo she made of a beautiful woodpecker (click through HERE to see it) So this grey and rainy morning in the park, I set out to find our local variety, the green woodpecker. It took a while to follow the call and roffle sounds but I managed to sneak up on it.... Isn't it a beauty? I used Picmonkey for the first time after having seen several blog posts about it. And boy, it's a great site, so easy to use as of course the woodpecker was a little further away than that! (like speck in the tree far away !) Have a great Sunday everyone. PS first post with the new blogger system. Seem to have managed but does anyone know how you get paragraphs in? Return button (which you could use of old) doesn't work....