Category Archives: UK sewing blog

(I’m in) Sewing World Magazine ;)

Sewing World Magazine is out now and my quilt is on the cover!!! SQUEAL!!! If you can’t find it in a bookstore/newsagent near you, you can order it from Traplet Publications’s website.

My quilt is a layer cake quilt. I had to scramble to get it done before I went to Texas. To be honest I hadn’t really considered the timing when I asked the editor, Julie, if she’d be interested. Thankfully I managed to finish on time! I am so chuffed they decided to put it on the cover!

Lynne of Lily’s Quilts also has a pattern in this month’s issue – isn’t this table runner wonderful? It’s a jelly roll pattern and I love it! I’m thinking about making it with a non-Xmas jelly roll. So cute!

There’s also a profile of my blog in the magazine. I had forgotten about it completely until one of my students found it! Thanks Nati! :)

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Magazine Features, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Manic Monday Linky Party

So you may have noticed I wasn’t here last week. That’s because I was reading – I averaged nearly 600 pages per day, which as you can imagine doesn’t leave much time for anything else. For some reason, when I read fiction I can’t bear to put it down. I simply MUST know what’s happening next. And it’s no good saying to myself After this chapter is over I’m going to do computer chores. I turn into Procrastination Central!

So I’m going on a fiction diet – the only fiction I’ll allow myself to buy is on audio, since I listen to that while I’m sewing. No more Kindle books for me! I need to get some real work done.

How about you? Do you have trouble doing anything else when you read a good book?

Linky Party Rules:

  • You can link anything you’ve created – an etsy shop, blog or tutorial, recipe or project, whatever.
  • You can leave up to 2 links
  • Please visit at least one other link and comment!
  • I’ll be featuring a few on the blog on Feature Friday
  • You are welcome to add my party button to your blog, but you don’t have to!



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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in craft linky party, Linky Party, Manic Monday, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 2 Comments

Abakhan Sponsors: Klona Cotton Solids & Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern Review

I mentioned in Tuesday’s post that I’d do a review of the Klona solid cotton fabric that I used to make my Tula Pink LOVE quilt.
ABAKHAN (2) 300px wide

The fabric was provided by Abakhan Fabrics, where it’s available for £7.25 per metre. It’s a full 135 cm wide instead of the usual 114 cm, so it’s a very good deal.

It’s a bit stiffer than, say, Kona solids, which means (for me, anyway) that it doesn’t really need to be starched before you can work with it. It’s also a bit ‘rougher’, not quite as silky. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means that it ‘sticks’ to other fabrics easily. So if you like to press your pieces together so they are completely flat before sewing, Klona solids will ‘stick’ and stay there until you can pin. Indeed, if you’re working with smaller pieces, you don’t need to pin as long as you’re careful.

I was a bit worried that it would still feel stiff after washing and drying my LOVE quilt, but it hasn’t – the motion of the machines seems to have softened it up considerably.

I had a bit of the Klona red left over, and today I decided to make myself a posh knitting project bag from a pattern I bought from Jeni of In Color Order. You don’t have to have the pattern to make one – there’s a tutorial for a slightly smaller version of it on her website. If you do want larger or smaller bags, you’ll have to get the pattern. It only costs $6.50 and is fantastic. There are 8 bag sizes and full instructions, including the formula if you want to make one to your own dimensions. It’s very clearly written, and I’m so pleased with how mine turned out that I’ve decided to make them as Christmas gifts. It was really quick to make, and the finished product is superb. They look quite professional, and if you wanted you could make the interior out of plastic so it could be a wash bag or makeup bag (my students use a cheap shower curtain to make wash bags).

I used the Klona for the interior, and again it was a breeze to cut and sew. I definitely will use the Klona again, and I really recommend it. It comes in many, many colours so you’ll be able to find one to match, and it’s SUCH a good value considering how wide it is. If you’ve never used Klona solids before, I recommend giving them a try – you may discover a new (cheaper!) favourite!

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Finished Products, Reviews, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged | 4 Comments

Tula Pink Madness @ Sew Sweetness!

I know I’m a little late (only by two days!) but I just wanted to let you know about an event that I’m participating in, which runs September 24th – November 12th. It’s the Tula Pink Sew Along! Every weekday through October 26th, you can find a show-and-tell of one of over 2 dozen Tula Pink quilts, along with a pattern review.

Here is the schedule of guest posts that will appear:

Sept 24 – Sara @ Sew Sweetness (Dream Weaver/book)

Sept 25 – Katie @ Katie’s Korner (Beanstalks/book)

Sept 26 – Lisa @ That Crazy Quilty Girl (Cloudy Day/book)

Sept 27 – Becky @ My Fabric Obsession (Houndstooth/book)

Sept 28 - Caitlin at I Don’t Do Dishes (Spiked Punch)

Oct 1 – Amanda @ A Crafty Fox (Alphabet)

Oct 2 – Michelle @ City House Studio (Fade to Pink)

Oct 3 – Marci @ Marci Girl Designs (Le Petite Salon)

Oct 4 – Katie @ There and Back (Field Study)

Oct 5 – Lorelei @ Mermaid Sews (Hushabye)

Oct 8 – Anorina @ Samelia’s Mum (Pancakes)

Oct 9 – Jenna @ Sew Happy Geek (LOVE)

Oct 10 – Lindsey @ LR Stitched (Fairy Tale Lane/book)

Oct 11 – DeeDee @ mybricole (Any Which Way/book)

Beth @ Plum and June (Cartwheels)

Oct 12 – Katy @ The Littlest Thistle (Crown Jewels)

Oct 15 - Colleen @ The Busy Bean (Shattered Glass/book)

Oct 16 – Kristen @ KD-Quilts (Stacks/book)

Oct 17 – Roseann @ Rosebud’s Cottage (Shattered Glass/book)

Oct 18 – Emily @ Mommy’s Naptime (Lollipops/book)

Oct 19 – Jeannette @ Gone Aussie Quilting (Honey Honey)

Oct 22 – Brenda @ Pink Castle Fabrics (Windswept)

Oct 23 – Bianca @ Sweet Diesel Designs (Stacks/book)

Oct 24 – Jessica @ Sew Crafty Jess (Snow Globes)

Oct 25 – Elizabeth @ Don’t Call Me Betsy (Space Dust)

              Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds (Cherry Pie)

Oct 26 – Kim @ My Go-Go Life (Kiss Kiss)

Kim Munoz (Grand Salon/book)

You also have your own opportunity to make a Tula quilt, bag, dress, whatever! You have until Monday,
November 12, 2012 to make something and be eligible for some outstanding
prizes!! Here are the rules to be eligible for entry into the contest:

1. Join the Tula Pink Sew Along Flickr Group.

2. To be counted for entry into the contest, get sewing!! Sewn item must be made from a Tula Pink pattern (or from her book) *OR*
made from at least 50% Tula Pink fabric (such as a bag, dress, etc.).
If you are sewing from a Tula Pink pattern, the fabric does not need to
be Tula Pink fabric.

3. If you will be adding an item to the pool to be counted as an entry,
it must be sewn and photographed from September 24th through November
12th, 2012. Any items completed before September 24th are not eligible.

4. You may add up to 2 photographs per item.

5. You may add as many items as you want, as long as you made them each
within the time frame. If you are making a quilt, the quilt top is
adequate to be entered. Anything smaller (mug rug, mini quilt, bag,
dress) should be completely finished.

Tula Pink Sew Along
Now how about some discounts?!?
Tula Pink has generously offered a 25% discount on all PDF quilt patterns when you use coupon code tulatroop in her pattern shop. This code is good now through October 31, 2012.
My lovely sponsor, Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics, has generously extended a 15% discount on all Tula Pink fabrics in the shop using coupon code TULA15. This code will be good now through September 30th.
If you don’t already have the book, Tula Pink’s publisher is offering a discount code so you can pick up your own copy! Use code TULA2012 when you purchase the book from the Martha Pullen store. Support publishers and authors by buying direct!
Prizes
Prizes will be announced soon, but here’s a little sneak peak at the
sponsors that have offered up their amazing products as prizes!
                  
So let’s get ready to sew!!! Join me and head on over to the Flickr Group and get ready for some amazing Tula Pink eye candy! I can’t wait to see what you create!
Posted in UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog, What's Up Wednesday | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Manic Monday Linky Party! :)

I want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my post about my depression – I’ve still got a few emails left to answer, but I wanted to let you all know how grateful I am to have such good ‘virtual’ friends. You guys really lifted my spirits and helped me to see that there is a better time down the road – I just have to keep slogging along till I get there.

Also, last week we had a tie for most popular link!

Mary at Mary Emmens got this beautiful set of vintage sheet fabric in a lovely swap.

Q from JAQS Fabrics made this adorable chevron quilt – I just love the stripey binding!

Ok, and now for this week’s linky party:

  • You can link anything you’ve created – an etsy shop, blog or tutorial, recipe or project, whatever.
  • You can leave up to 2 links
  • Please visit at least one other link and comment!
  • I’ll be featuring a few on the blog on Feature Friday
  • You are welcome to add my party button to your blog, but you don’t have to!



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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Linky Party, Manic Monday, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 2 Comments

Winners! Sew Intertwined QAL

Wow, we can’t believe it’s the end! We had 87 group members and a ton of beautiful finishes. It was such a fun Quilt Along, and we’re so proud of everyone who participated, and the level of creativity in the group just blew us away. Some of those ladies had never made a quilt before, and they pulled it off beautifully. *sniff, sniff*


We decided the fairest way to draw for prizes was to use a random number generator. Melissa took that job, and here are the results:

Prize 1 – Superior Threads – $30.00 Gift Cert – #12 – Shimmyblister
Sew Intertwined Top

Prize 2 – Intrepid Thread – $50.00 Gift Cert – #2 – Quilting Lodge
Sew Intertwined QAL Quilt

Prize 3 – Stitches N’ Giggles – Riley Blake Chevron Bundle – #9 – Nanners1222
Sew Intertwined QAL - finished with border

Prize 4 – Contemporary Cloth – Fat Quarter Bundle – #4 – Marjorie68
DSC_0114
Prize 5 – Eclectic Maker – 5 Fat Quarter Bundle – #3 – Jennie’s Threads
Sew Intertwined - quilted and finished

Prize 6 – Quilting Lodge – Layer Cake – #13 – Piecestolove
Sew Intertwined
If you’ve won, please email jennaexcell(at)gmail.com and I’ll sort out the prizes. Thank you SO much for participating in our Quilt Along!

Posted in UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 5 Comments

Manic Monday Linky Party & Features (& Giveaway Reminder!)

Hey, if you haven’t signed up for the Abakhan fabric giveaway, get over there now!

Hello!!! Sorry for the late posting today – I got my Mirena coil out and yikes! Cramps and everything. And because I haven’t had cramps or any of the more annoying aspects of being a woman for around 9 years, I’m not dealing with it very well. Actually, all I’ve done is sit on the couch and read. Perhaps a tad bit lazy but since I’m still fighting that low feeling, it simply feels like too much effort to do anything else. Is that pathetic?

Anyway, I have a couple of features from last week’s linky party:

I Quilt For Fun made this groovy scrap quilt using scraps from her own collection and some saved up from quilty friends – I’ll let you read the journey this quilt’s got ahead of it. What a cool idea!

Dorian of Ridge Top Quilts made this lovely 4 patch quilt top, adding a bit of the sublime into the centre with that bright orange/red diamond – perfect!

Linky Party Rules:

  • You can link anything you’ve created – an etsy shop, blog or tutorial, recipe or project, whatever.
  • You can leave up to 2 links
  • Please visit at least one other link and comment!
  • I’ll be featuring a few on the blog on Feature Friday
  • You are welcome to add my party button to your blog, but you don’t have to!



If you'd like to receive my blog feed in your Google Reader (or any other reader) just click on the Feedburner (RSS) link below. :)

Subscribe in a reader


© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in craft linky party, craft linky party results, Features, Linky Party, Linky Party Results, Manic Monday, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | 2 Comments

Welcome: Abakhan Fabrics & FQ Bundles Giveaway

ABAKHAN (2) 300px wide

It’s Giveaway time! Woohoo! I’ve got a new sponsor, Abakhan fabrics, so I’d like to introduce you to them.

Abakhan has super deals on fabric, knitting and crochet supplies, general craft supplies and just about everything else you might need for your sewing and crafting adventures. And it’s all at great prices, so it won’t hurt your wallet!

They carry a bit of everything – quilting supplies, dressmaking, curtain and home furnishing fabrics, the list goes on and on.

Can you believe this curtain fabric is only £4.99 per metre?

They’ve also got 50% off all Simplicity patterns right now – so if you’re thinking about sewing a few dresses or skirts for fall/winter, it’s definitely worth your time to see what Abakhan has in stock for you.

And now it’s time to get to the giveaway. Here’s what Will at Abakhan has for TWO participants:

A polka spotted fat quarter bundle of brights – there are 8 FQs in there! And another one:

Another fat quarter bundle of polka spots – this one in pastel.

Here’s how to win:

  • Leave a comment. That’s it. No strings attached.
  • For an additional entry, go Like the Abakhan Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. Leave me a comment letting me know which one.
  • For an additional entry, go Like the SewHappyGeek Facebook page or follow on Twitter. Leave me a comment letting me know which one.
  • If you share the giveaway via FB or Twitter, that’s an additional entry – just leave me a comment letting me know you did. (There are buttons below the post that make it super easy.)

Each winner will receive ONE FQ Bundle – whether you get bright or pastel is totally left up to chance. I’ll leave the giveaway open for one week – I’ll announce the winner next Friday, 14 Sept. The giveaway is open internationally – anyone can enter. I’ll use my And The Winner Is…plugin to determine who’s won.

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Giveaways, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , , | 205 Comments

Sailor Mouth Swap Goodies Sent!

I must thank Allegory of {sew} Allegorical for setting up this delightful Sailor Mouth Swap. I had fun stalking my secret partner to figure out what kind of fabrics and colours she likes. I’m pretty sure she’s a big fan of Tula Pink, so I made a nice tote bag:

 I got The Birds and the Bees fabric from Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics. I LOVE the birds on it, so I’m happy that I’ve got a bit left over to make something for myself. Someday. BTW, I’m not showing you the curse word I put in there. If you want to know and won’t be offended, here’s the Flickr pic.

I also made a notebook cover from Cindy’s very useful notebook cover tutorial, using Art Gallery Fabrics provided to me by Hantex Ltd here in the UK. If you’re wanting to get your hands on some of this lovely fabric, Hantex Ltd has a stockist page to help you. I can tell you it’s gorgeous! (It’s the Modernology range by Pat Bravo.)

I threw in some chocolate and a fat quarter. I really hope my partner likes everything.

Thank you Allegory for organising everything! :)

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Ebook Review: Suzy’s Majestic Peacock Pattern

Suzy of Suzy’s Sitcom sent me a free copy of her new ebook, Suzy’s Majestic Peacock Pattern. I meant to review it over a month ago, but what with the limited internet in Texas and me injuring myself and all, I’m just now getting to it. (Sorry, Suzy!!)

I’ll tell you what I really like about this ebook – both projects are meticulously explained, in super easy steps that even I could follow. And I’ve never actually tried to make faux stained glass or my own batik fabric. Suzy is a SUPER talented gal whose drawing and crafting skills are really impressive, so the peacock template is absolutely fantastic. You get both patterns and the template for only $10, which is a great deal considering you can use the peacock techniques for other crafts – she’s even included suggestions!

The Faux Stained Glass Peacock is laid out in simple, well written steps. Best of all, she’s even got instructions in there for what to do when your hand is a bit shaky and your lines don’t come out completely perfect. I don’t know about you, but I’m not good at drawing of any kind, so I really appreciate the extra help. Once you’ve drawn your ‘leaded’ part and it’s dried, painting it in is a cinch! And again, if you mess up she’s got instructions for how to touch it up.

Once you’re finished you’ll be very impressed with the results – there’s really no way to mess this up with all the helpful tips for dealing with any boo-boos. Plus everyone who spots it in your house will be all like, ‘You made that?! WOW!’ which is the whole point of crafting, right? ;)

The batik panel is just as easy to make – you just use melted crayons! All you do is trace the outline in pencil and off you go. And her piecing instructions are suitable for someone who’s relatively new to quilting. And even if you’re new to piecing and quilting, she includes really useful links for tutorials to help you.

Each step is well photographed and really, you just cannot go wrong unless you spilled the crayon paint everywhere. It’s kinda like a paint by numbers except you get to choose the colours and where they go. The applique technique is well explained and easy to follow, and even the binding is explained thoroughly with extra tutorial links if you need them.

You’ll be very pleased with the ebook and the projects – they’re not incredibly complicated, especially the Faux Stained Glass, and you’ll make items that you’ll be very proud of. They’d make excellent gifts, but if you’re like me, you’ll want to hang onto them yourself.

Suzy’s Majestic Peacock Pattern is available on her website for immediate download for $10.

All images courtesy of Suzy Myers of Suzy’s Sitcom.

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© J C Excell, 2012

Posted in Reviews, UK craft blog, UK Modern Quilt Blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment