Just a quick note to let anyone that might have been trying to buy from the shop - the company that hosts our site is currently moving it to a faster, more reliable environment (on a cloud!).
The irony is that at the moment there are all kinds of problems if you try to checkout your shopping cart or access any other secure pages on the site.
The company that hosts us is very good and responsive, and I know they're working hard to fix the problems. So, I'm apologising if you've encountered difficulties on the shop. I know it's really frustrating! If it's any consolation at least any 'shopping carts', that you may have created will be preserved until your next visit and I do hope that you'll visit again.
It's really frustrating for me to have some new (to me!) Heather Bailey and Amy Butler fabrics, which I can't share with you. It's extremely frustrating that for the very first time the shop and been listed in a new national magazine and then 'poof', my little bubble of happiness gets burst by 'Technical difficulties beyond my control'. Is that the term folk use......
So, whatever improved security and improved performance I'm supposed to expect I wish it would hurry up and materialise!
I've been given an award by Incy Thank you Incy. It's a very pretty and colourful award with a wonderful sentiment attached. Friendship!
I think the first time I came across Incy it had something to do with buttons.... beautiful fabric covered and embroidered buttons.
... a fabric covered button bracelet by Incy.
She definitely has a way with buttons.
Now we speak, exchange ideas, locate tutorials and just chat via Twitter and Crafteroo and otherwise connect via Flickr and Facebook. Incy is part of my day and I value her 'bloggy' friendship even though, as so often seems to be the case with 'bloggy friends', we've never actually met.
I know that there are many uses for a quarter of a metre of fabric; a skinny quarter, a quarter of a metre cut widthways across the fabric bolt. (Resulting in a piece of fabric that's 110cm wide and 25cm long (cut from a 110cm centimetre (45 inches) wide bolt)).
But, do you know what a fat quarter is?
If you're fairly new to patchwork or sewing you may not have come across this term before as it's measurement often used in patchwork, you'll sometimes see it abbreviated to FQ.
It's one of those lovely 'old' traditional measures at bit like a; span, pole, perch, rod and numerous others. It's really an imperial measure so it's based on inches, yards etc. but many shops, mine included, (Link) cut fat quarters based on a metric measurement so it's slightly larger. Basically however, it describes the following;
Fabric usually (but not always) comes in bolts approximately 110cm (44/45 inches) wide and is usually cut in lengths down the bolt. For example one metre of fabric cut off a bolt will be 110cm (45 inches) across and one metre long.
A fat quarter is a square cut of that fabric. Essentially it refers to a 1/2 metre (or 1/2 a yard of fabric ) which is cut in half across it's width.
A metric fat quarter (There are approximately 39 inches in a metre) is bigger than an imperial fat quarter, which is based on 36 inches in a yard.
A metric fat quarter results in a piece of fabric about 50cm by 55 cm (dependent upon the width of the fabric on the bolt).
A fat quarter should 'cost', the same as a 'narrow cut' or long quarter metre/yard of fabric.
Why would you want such a thing?
For patchworkers, or anyone who uses small pieces of fabric, a Fat Quarter is potentially more useful than a narrow 1/4 metre strip because;
You can cut twelve 5 inch charm squares from a fat quarter (whether it's a metric or an imperial fat quarter) and only have enough fabric to cut eightfrom a skinny 1/4 metre of fabric.
An FQ will allow you to use the lengthwise grain (this runs down/parallel to the selvedge) and so reduces the stetchiness of the fabric making it easier to work with in some projects.
A fat quarter gives you a piece of fabric which can be used for sewing projects wider than 25 centimetres (9.8 inches). Therefore buying them to build/develop your fabric stash is not limiting you in the range of projects that they can be used for.
It all began with a lost sock..... where had it managed to disappear to? It went into the washing machine, presumably it came out again but where had it ended up? Dear daughter really wanted that sock, no other sock would do. No other sock could possibly look right with that particular pair of jeans! Eventually, I resorted to the airing cupboard, just in case..... you never know it may just have gotten mixed up with towels, sheets and everything else that congregates in there .... (Towels, duvet covers, a bag of germinating tree peony seeds, a small fabric covered box ... is that odd?) The search began innocently enough but turned into a great re-organisation of a space which seemed to be hoarding a great many no longer needed things..... Then I found this!
I'm afraid I have a fantastic ability to get distracted and this lead me away from the sock issue to 'somewhere else'....
Of itself it isn't that significant but it's a pillowcase my grandmother made out of old worn out sheets. She would use the fabric from sheets which had become worn in the middle, so longer useful as bed linen. She'd add bits of embroidery and other fabrics to make them more attractive, more personal, coordinate them with bedspreads and curtains. I suppose this kind of thriftiness and re-cycling were part of her life, growing up with eleven brothers and sisters and living through two world wars. Certainly, re-using bits and pieces of no-longer useful thiings was something I can always remember her doing.
So, the hunt for the sock turned into a pillowcase making event. Re-discovered cot sheets became combined with some extremely pretty, rosy fabric into this.
..an odd bit left of a bolt of Tanya Whelan's Darla - Rose
Feels good to create something useful and pretty out of something no-longer required and a piece of fabric left at the end of fabric bolt.
Rosie's thrilled with the pillowcase but still a little disgruntled about the sock! (It has to be here somewhere.)
This post is a bit like a chat over the garden wall...... I'm passing information on.... it's not gossip... nothing scandoulousy juicy to pass on ... but you may find it interesting..
Amy Butler is going to be holding a contest to celebrate the one year anniversary of her Midwest Modern fabric range. This includes fabric from both the Midwest Modern and the Midwest Modern 2 ranges, which includes designs such as the 'Fresh Poppies in Green'
She's also celebrating the launch of Amy Butler Softwares from 'The Electric Quilt Company'. If you follow the link you'll see that her new CD of Sewing projects has .......
" 22 unique and stylish projects for quilts, pillows, bags and more – plus 9 bonus projects! You can make my projects as designed – or customize them in thousands of possible ways using the software's tools and virtual swatches of my fabrics. "
I would so like this CD.... it seems to be available for order from Amy's own website but I've no information from Rowan yet about actual supplies to the UK. But, it's early days....
So, the if you're a person who likes to take part in contests then and I quote "
The rules of the contest are quite easy - have your customers create a project using my Midwest Modern fabric. That's it! They should email a picture of their project to email@example.com. The contest dates will begin on June 1st & continue through September 15th so everyone has plenty of time to create! I will be adding a flickr page to my website where I will showcase all of these wonderful projects."
There is also a PDF which you can download and peruse, which you can reach by clicking on the 'New' Button on Amy's website (Link), scroll down a little and you'll see the link to the PDF.
So, get creating.... I know some of you have already created some beautiful things from Midwest Modern so think about joining in with this.
Did I mention the prizes... there just a little bit important to know about if you're taking part in contest aren't they?
I (Amy) will choose the 10 winners in late September and they will each receive a wonderful prize package of Midwest Modern fat quarters, a selection of my sewing patterns and a signed copy of my new Softwares from The Electric Quilt Company.
So, join in and get creating...... and don't forget to add your sewing projects to Amy's Flickr group when it becomes available...
Warning: This post is full of pretty fabrics...so read on if you dare!.
Fabric supplies haven't exactly been speedy these last few weeks.... apparently there's a lot of frenzied crafting going on. Some people are aiming for more sustainable lifestyles, others are sewing to add a little individuality to their wardrobes and homes. Altogether, however this has created a bit of a hiccup in the normal, everyday running of things but over the next week or so everthing should be running like clockwork, again. (Fingers crossed!)
The Anna Maria Horner 'Garden Party' fabric whizzed out of the door faster than I could ever have imagined - but I've gotten some back now. Plus, a couple of new designs;
Mingling in Ice - fantastic names aren't they?