26 January 2015

Press // Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 17 / British Patchwork & Quilting

I'm delighted to stop by today with some recent editorial work I've done for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine - with a English Paper Piecing theme so do read on if you're into that, and British Patchwork & Quilting, similar in title name but very different in style. 

In case you don't follow me on Instagram (@messyjesse1) you might have missed my announcement, that several months ago I was asked to contribute a whole booklet of English Paper Piecing projects for their January 2015 issue! Using… wait for it … diamond EPP shapes! Yayy, my favourite EPP shape of all! i should mention the issue includes a free pack of mixed paper pieces in 1", 2" and 3" sizes, so you can get making right away and if you're impatient like me that's ideal. 

The projects are all based on a sewing kit theme, so pincushions, needle-cases etc. Double the fun, as I love making things for my sewing room. It was such a honour to be asked, LP&Q magazine really is my top of the picks in the industry. They do such brilliant work, as I know I've mentioned here before and regularly highlight British quilters like myself so it's a win win.

And here it is! My own little cover-booklet! Gosh this was a proud moment when I eagerly ripped off the plastic wrapping and opened it for the first time, to see my face in print staring back at me! OK, so just to warn you… I may have taken a lot of photo's, of course, just to give you the whole picture ;-) 

Notice how I managed to get my new shiny wedding ring in a lot of these pictures, ha! :-)
First up the sewing machine cover. I knew I wanted to do this design straight off the batt, so eager I was to get started on this, I realised I was making up the hexagon/star blocks in the wrong size, doh! Note the photo below - they made for some great props though! Once I got back on the right foot using the 2" size diamonds I was well underway, and after a lot of head scratchy moments I figured out a way to make it 3D to fit over a sewing machine, and not loose the continuos design. Phew!

The EPP sewing kit! Again this, and all the other projects in the book came to me pretty quick. I think having a clear brief, with a set theme, colour palette and using only diamonds really helped me keep on track and I felt much more confident to come up with fun ideas, while still stretching my creativity.

I absolutely loved the colour palette they suggested too, I would never think to put these colour's together but they work so well and even though they are a departure from my normal comfort zone of colour's, each piece has a distinctive Messy Jesse stamp on, I think.

Oh the needle-case! I love this one so much. I'm going to have to show you this in more detail on another post as I didn't take any photo's of the real thing. This little thing folds up, and then opens out to a complete circle. I wanted to showcase those big 3" diamonds some way, and I think this needle-book was just the ticket. 

My other exciting news to share is this 'interview with a quilter' interview in British Patchwork & Quilting magazine! This is the December 2014 issue just gone, so unfortunately it won't be that easy to get a copy of anymore. I was initially contacted by Sheilah last Spring I think, after requesting some information on reproduction fabrics I stock at Sew and Quilt - for an article she was working on about vintage feedsacks. After a little email exchange an offer for an a Q&A in an upcoming issue came about, of course I said yes! So Sheilah very kindly took a 5 hour + train ride all the way down to Penzance to meet me! She was just lovely, and we hit it off straight away talking about our love of fabric and vintage feedsacks. 

She even gifted me a beautiful handmade rug-mug that I use in my sewing room now, and floral tea cup. And if that wasn't thoughtful enough she even sent me some feedsack scraps she had left over from her article! 

I'm so pleased with the article, and I'm so honoured to be featured in such a prestigious magazine. Thank you for such a great opportunity again Sheilah. 

14 January 2015

Sewing To Sell Book - How To Sell Locally & Online

Hello, long time no speak! I seemed to have an unexpected blog break over the Christmas and New year period, but I'm back today to share Sewing To Sell book by the lovely Virginia Lindsey, who you may know as the creator of Gingercake Patterns. This book is an all inclusive guide on how to start and successfully run a craft business. Making the leap from personal hobby sewing to professional sewing can be quite intimidating, but Virginia's book aims to give you all the resources you need to begin on the right foot. 

This is the sort of book I could have really used back when I was running my Etsy shop a few years ago! It tackles all those nitty gritty topics like pricing, materials and our least favourite issue; time - and how to price for it. As well as business basics like promotion, selling, inventory and tax issues (though I should point out this would be specific to the U.S.). There are some great tips for photographing your products and selling at craft shows with a checklist of tasks to complete before leading up to a show. 

If you're not thinking of setting up a sewing business the book is still a great resource for your library. It includes 16 sewing projects that are all practical and useful things to sew, they are great starter projects for new sewers or a blank slate for more experienced sewer's to add their own creative touch to. Like Vanessa from lbw studio has done with her fantastic version of this organiser. It's perfect for jotting down your new year sewing goals and keeping you motivated. I need to make one for myself, now. 

Practical and straight-forward advice from a passionate sewer, with beautiful projects to remind me sometimes smaller, simple projects are just what's needed! Sounds like a great book to me, good job Virginia!

You can purchase the book here, direct from C&T Publishing; either a hard copy or e-book version. Be sure to check out the rest of the blog book tour.

17 December 2014

Snapshots Quilt Along With Fat Quarter Shop!

Next month I'll be joining in a quilt-a-long with Fat Quarter Shop for a special cause! FQS are raising money in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Their aim is to advance cures and means of prevention for catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Each month FQS are releasing a free pattern to make up the quilt, they are encouraging everyone to join in the sewing fun and donate a suggested $5 for each pattern to help raise the funds. The good news is, Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics will match up to $10,000 of donations raised for this amazing cause!! 

So, these are the super fun blocks you'll be offered each month. Aren't they so cute! I'm especially excited about that sewing machine ;-) 

Yep. I need them all now. How about you? Below are us blogger's who are joining in. Be sure to follow our updates on Instagram too, with the hashtag #fqssnapshots 
Which block is your favourite? 
Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
Bonnie Olaveson of Cotton Way
Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting
Thelma Childers of Cupcakes N' Daisies
Pam Viera-McGinnis of Pam Kitty Morning
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Stephanie Kendron of The Modern Sewciety
Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
Greg Jones of Grey Dogwood Studios
Jessie Fincham of Messy Jesse

Find out all the details of the QAL including ordering quilt kits from Fat Quarter Shop on their official page here. Oh, and you have to watch the video too; Bonnie & Camille and Kimberly are the sweetest. So I'll be checking back on January 15th with my first block, the CAKE! Yumm, can't wait.

Naturally Nautical Quilt Finish!

I'm SO pleased to share a finish with you today! I've been itching to complete my Naturally Nautical quilt, but soon after I started making a few blocks a bunch of commissions piled up so sure enough, it dropped to the bottom of my to do list. I've had some free time recently so I've been beavering away with the quilting and managed to get it done and dusted a couple of weeks ago. I pulled it out at the weekend for a little photoshoot in Mousehole, a quaint little fishing village 3 miles from my house. 

A perfect location for such a seaside'y fun quilt! The day I visited was the same day they turn on their famous Christmas lights, which has become quite a popular event here over the years. You might spot the 'Mousehole Harbour Lights' sign in the photo above. The whole village lights up with pretty Christmas decorations, which everyone enjoys.

OK, back to the quilt. It finishes up 64" x 78", it almost ended up smaller when I finished the top and basted it only to realise I had forgotten to add the 4.5" borders! I wanted the boats to float on the quilt so I knew I had to go back and re-add them :-/ I added a border around my backing fabric too, in order to make up the difference. I used scrappy fabrics and it ended up making a nice feature for the back, but I forgot to photograph it, as my very helpful prop assistant was getting cold ;-)

I loooved the original version of this quilt (find the free pattern here) so I stayed close to the simple blue theme. I chose some great nautical fabrics I had on hand from Sew and Quilt, and even managed to fussy cut some ships in a few of the blocks! Also, this is my FIRST free-motion-quilted quilt! Wow, it was a slog... and a steep, steep learning curve but I got there in the end. I chose baptist fans to echo a wave'y style that would work well with the design. Plus baptist fans are pretty amazing, and work well on every quilt, I think. It's certainly not perfect, by any means! But I'm really pleased I managed to do it, as I'm one of those quilter's that moan "I can't FMQ" without ever giving it a proper go! ;-) I think we've all been there, yep? So if I can do it, anyone can. Really.

There's been some great quilter's quilting along with me, if you're on Instagram (I'm @messyjesse1) you can use follow using the hashtag #naturallynauticalquiltalong, there you can see some other fabulous nautical quilts! Don't forget to use the hashtag if you decide to join too, so I can find you :-) Hope you're all having a good week. xo

6 December 2014

Catch Up!

Lot's to catch up on! I haven't done a 'normal' blog post in so long, and gosh I've missed it. 

First up, The Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt. We got our second delivery of these popular quilt patterns at Sew and Quilt right after we got back from our honeymoon. Last week I finally found some time to start the marathon cutting session and get all the blocks cut ready for a lot of chain sewing…. however I pulled a muscle in my side over-doing it with the rotary cutter! Oops, I've given it a rest since then, but I'm SO close for it all being cut and ready to sew! Maybe this weekend I'll finish off? ;-) 

If you're making, it really helps if you label all the blocks by number. I'm also using Kona solids instead of the Bella solids from the pattern so I also laid out all my fabrics first with their corresponding colour name and code. Trust me, you need to do this - less headache later. I'm thinking of putting some kits together for Sew and Quilt shop, would you be interested? 

Next up, here's a super quick Christmas decoration I made for Sizzix as part of my monthly guest blog post - you can find all my posts here. Isn't he the cutest? I'm excited to decorate now! 

Umm… guys I got a COVER! That's my Christmas Log Cabin Wreath quilt on the front of Quilt Now magazine!! (Issue #4) I'm still grinning about this :-) 

I'm absolutely proud as punch to have my first quilt design featured in print, and to get the cover! I'm head over heels in love with the design and I can't wait to get it back so I can hang it for Christmas. I should note a small pattern update from print: the four smaller low volume border pieces - it says cut 2, please cut 4 instead. 

Also I've been beavering away recently to finally finish my Naturally Nautical quilt! There are a few people who have joined in the boating fun on Instagram so you can follow the progress by searching #naturallynauticalquiltalong. I am planning a little photoshoot this weekend so you can see it in all it's glory! Watch this space… Oh and you can find the free pattern to make this here.

I also made up this Christmassy table runner recently! I looove Christmas sewing, and I was dying to cut into some of my new fabrics I picked up whilst quilt shopping on holiday, yay! For what I thought was a really simple pattern, it turned into a quilt math nightmare?! Lot's of wrong measurements, I guess I wasn't on my game that day! I got there in the end though. I had planned to do a pattern available on the blog, but I still haven't figured out how to use Touchdraw, agh! I got Photoshop recently too, don't even ask me about that, we're not on speaking terms ;-) side note - if anyone know's how to use the pen tool to re-draw some scanned-in text I would be forever grateful for some helpful tips? See you next week! xo

20 November 2014

Vintage Vibe Book Winner!

Congratulations Angela Garrett!! You are the winner of the Vintage Vibe e-book! You will be contacted by Martingale in due course to claim your prize :-) thank you to everyone who entered! xo