Saturday, August 27, 2016

What I bought

This year I went a little crazy. Forgive the slightly skewed shot. I was knackered by this point. It feels like a big haul. I went a little crazy. Not having access to a quilt shop just makes me go giddy when I see all this stuff that I can only ever access online. I loved just browsing! I feel bad. I bought a lot of stuff! I didn't quite plan to. The way I like to rationalise it is like this: if it was on your shopping list then it's a fair purchase. If it's something for an actual project you are doing then it is a good purchase. If it's a spur of the moment purchase for a new project then it's LAVISH. If it's not even for a project but you just like it then it is WELL LAVISH.

Let's see how I did...

I bought some things for my new travelling EPP bag for the Smitten project. As it's all preplanned and for a project it's a fair purchase. I bought a small rotary cutter which I had been after ever since I started watching Sue Daley's YouTube channel. In her Top Tips for Paper Piecing she talks about the tools that she uses and this is one. I bought a small ruler of my favourite kind which fits in my little bag perfectly. I am pretty happy about that. And a new thread cutter for 50p. I keep losing mine.

I also bought some Superior Bottom Line Thread that she recommends. They were doing a special on them at the show. Three for two. I am unsure about them. I will gauge them against my Mettler thread and see how I feel. They are on Su Daley's list of EPP must haves though so I am bowing to the guru.

I also bought some Hiroshima Needles. Luckily the Clover stall had examples out of all the needles.
I got the Tulip Applique Needles 6/Pkg-Size 10 Big Eye ones they recommended but they also gave out free sample packs of other needles. First impressions tell me that my Clover Black Gold Needles Applique/ Sharps Assorted are thinner, smaller and sharper and more my thing, but we'll see. The wider eye on the needle is great and maybe a slightly thicker needle will stop my thread shredding. I am looking forward to seeing how the new thread performs.

I also bought some of the tulip pins which was totally LAVISH. But they were so beguiling. Mum was buying some and I knew I would be so jealous. They look great on my new pincushion. I really don't need them at all.

I bought three patterns, well two really as one was my birthday present from mum. She got me the Bring me Flowers pattern which I have wanted for ages. I am not 100% about the full quilt, but I love the individual blocks which people do. Seeing Kerry's has got me into it. It's a backburner project for a rainy day.

Festival of Quilts 2016
I also bought a Sew Enchanting mini dresden plate pattern which was totally spur of the moment. I have no idea what fabrics I would even do it in. I love the odd shaped hexes and the embroidered letters. I think I would use totally different fabrics but I have no idea what. Maybe Liberty or just my scrap bag. Or tasteful solids. Oooh, I have no idea.

And I bought a Janet Clare sewing kit pattern along with a small charm pack of her Wordsmith range for Moda and a fat quarter of one of her text prints just in case. I am glad I had the extra fat quarter as there are only just enough blocks and I needed to substitute some one I had laid them all out. I also bought a lovely fat quarter of soft calico from The Shuttle to use as lining and another text print from a different range which I thought I could use for something someday. This is going to be a Christmas make present so it didn't feel that lavish.

Fabricwise my biggest splurge was at The Eternal Maker which I ended up visiting multiple times. It's such a great shop! I didn't really need that much more fabric for my Smitten, but it's nice to shop for it. So now I have lots of stripes and yellows and pinks to add to my stash. I love the itsy bitsy spider fabric, that will be the centre of the first hexagon I think. I am eager to get started. I want to lay out all my fabrics and choose the first hexagon fabrics then settle into some autumn nights on the sofa surrounded by all my kit.

The other thing I bought for this project was some Colonial Needle 2 oz "Glue-Baste-It" The Basting Glue for Fabric. See on the bottom right? It has a superfine tip which means you can use less glue. I have found removing the papers from the sewline glue pen a bit hard. I need to use less glue, so I thought this might help. Now I feel ready!

Not forgetting the Farmer's Wife though. I did manage to buy some cheap backing fabric from Fabrics Galore. The grey stripe will look perfect. I considered grey seersucker from The Shuttle but it is hard to work with as it never lies flat so I kept it simple. I also stocked up on some simple grey fabric as I didn't find all the neutral fat quarters at The Shuttle this year which I find so invaluable so this single grey will have to do instead.

Speaking of The Shuttle, it is now a major stop off for me as I always use their fat quarters of plain fabric. They are finer and thinner than regular cotton, percale at a guess but they are lovely to work with and go really soft. I used all my last lot in my Farmer's Wife so this year I got a big batch. It's still a great price: 4 for £5. Result! I'd really like to do some small just plain projects this year so I might use the greens to make a cushion or something. An idea is gently brewing.

I also swung by Kaffe Fassett to just look at his lovely shot cottons. I didn't quite have a project in mind this year though so I ended up buying none! Luckily there was a Fair Trade stall selling very similar fabrics by the fat quarter so I got some of those. They are so lovely. I think they would make great little flying geese or mini square in an Amish inspired purse or something. Mum said I could make something for her out of them so maybe I will get my act together in time for Christmas. When something can be turned into an xmas present I always feel better about the purchase. I love homemade xmas presents, they are such a rarity these days.

My final purchase on the last day was this cool fabric from The Eternal Maker. I did the classic thing of seeing what someone else was buying and falling in love with it all. In the end I had to get her (Gill) to show me where everything was and we became Instagram friends! Hark at me! It makes me want to go to a quilt retreat and meet other people who get excited about fabric. I need to dork out!

And lastly, I did spend a long time looking at books. It was nice to leaf through ones I see other people buy. The only one I was really tempted by was Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Romance but mostly because I love the pickledish pattern from the cover. I keep watching Mary's one and really like it. The rest of the book was not really to my liking though so I held off. I'd really just like to buy a cheap second hand copy but there don't seem to be any. I will just have to do my best alone!

So there you have it! a big haul. I have just spent the last year making an epic sampler quilt though, so I feel I have slaved enough to earn it. Obvs, the fact that it's pretty wonky and every, yes every block has too big outside seams meaning none of the points will match up, is beside the point. When I get home from summer hols, it's time to baste the Farmer's Wife and start the Smitten.

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