Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Easy Swap UK - our playlist

Thanks to everyone who signed up for the Easy Swap UK.

As part of the sign-up everyone was asked which song they like listening to when sewing. It has been interesting reading all your answers!

Please find below the contents of an Easy Swap UK playlist.

N.B. Would anyone be able to create this as a proper playlist in Spotify (or some other place where public playlists are possible to create and share for free)??? Please let me know! Please see the first comment, as a playlist is being created!!

Spotify public playlist:

Songs included:
10,000 reasons by Matt Redman
All About That Bass
Beautiful Day, U2
Bellowhead: New York Girls
Black Betty
Call me by Blondie
Camille O Sullivan"
Cher: Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
Easy Silence - Dixie Chicks
Ed Sheeran- Kiss Me, Thinking Out Loud and Small Bump
Eliza Doolittle - Skinny Genes"
Ellie Golding - love me like you do
Everyone's Changing - Keane
First Aid Kit (lions roar album)
Free, by Beth Nielsen Chapman
George Ezra - Listen to the Man
Go your own way, Fleetwood Mac
Hall and Oates "You make my dreams come true"
House of Fun by madness
Journey - Don't stop believing
Lisa Hannigan Sea Sew album
Live and let die - the guns and roses version
London Grammar, Fleetwood Mac
Maps - maroon 5
Marcella by the Beach Boys (the live version by Brian Wilson is the best!)
Maroon 5- Sugar
May be My House
Megan Trainor is my current favourite album
Mr Blue Sky - ELO
Mumford and sons, the Babel album, especially I Will Wait
My Chemical Romance; Teenagers
Nashville and Pitch Perfect soundtracks
Nate Reuss- Nothing Without Love
Neil Diamond
Pavement, built to spill, Arthur Russell and bonnie prince billy!
Pink!'s Great Hits
Ship to Wreck by Florence and the Machine
Sia Elastic Heart
Something upbeat
Staying alive?? (just joking)
Stevie Wonder - If you really love me
Take That - The Flood
Taylor Swift  - currently Blank Space, 22 and Holy Ground
Taylor Swift- Bad Blood, Blank Space
The Cult - She sells sanctuary
The Lumineers - Ho hey
The new kodaline and james bay albums
The top 40 :)
This American Life Podcast
Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen
Tim McGraw especially "I like it I love it"
Twilight Saga soundtrack
When I Grow Up and Naughty from Matilda the Musical
1990s pop

Not everyone listens to only music! 
Here are the other answers: 
Anything on the TV
Audio books, current favourite is The Book of Souls.
BBC 6 Music
Crime dramas on radio 4!
I like it quiet with the window or outside doors open
My kids screaming.
Nothing so I don't wake up the toddler from his precious naps!
Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 4

Everyone has been given a partner to make for and emails with details should come out in the next few days!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Easy Swap UK ( #easyswapuk)

Sign-up has now closed

Back by popular demand! Slightly amended, but still hopefully lots of fun! This time you can select what you'd like to swap. The options are:
  • Mini quilt - 300 to 500 square inches, any shape!!!
  • Zippered pouch - any design but one zip must be at least 12" long. 
  • Tote bag - to fit at least an A4 note book and to have at least one pocket. 
To make this a stress free and fun swap, please select the item you are most comfortable making.

No matter which item you select to swap, please use quilting techniques to some extent. After all, most of us are quilters.

You agree that this is a swap for all abilities and that you are likely to be matched with someone less or more experienced than you.

To take part, and to remain in the swap, you commit to being active on Instagram. This includes posting inspiration photos/mosaics, progress photos and commenting on other swapper's pictures.

This is a secret swap.  You should not reveal who you are making for until in the package you send off. You know who you are making for, but not who is making for you. You agree not to tell anyone who you are making for.

Also, you agree to include only one extra item at a value of max £5 or something which took max 1 hour to make. It would also be great if you added a note or letter so your partner knows who made them the surprise.

I am hoping to allocate partners during the final week of July.

Send date is 20 to 24 October 2015.

Residential UK postal addresses only (no PO box please). 

Further information will be posted on and

Sign-up has now closed

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Modern Insta Bee - April (catch-up post)

April was our last month in the Modern Insta Bee, UK Hive 1. Queen Bee was Rosanne. She bravely asked us all to make the Baseball Curves in solids.

I guess I wasn't the only one who had looked at all the blocks in the book and slightly dreaded anyone picking this one.... Well, no one did, for eleven months....

I set off making a test block.

It got a bit too small, and a bit wonky.... Perhaps I should have ironed the fabrics beforehand...

Thanks to Google I found a brilliant tutorial by Fiona at Benidgolioness providing tips on how to get the block perfect.  She has some great pointers and advise. Saying that, I preferred cutting my blocks with the grain line, i.e. as stated in the book.

As I didn't have that many "sunglass worthy" colourful solids at home, I went to The Village Haberdashery for some shopping therapy...

Once I sussed the block, it was super fun to make. I had quickly made three blocks...

Three blocks laid out, didn't make any fun pattern, so I made another one which meant I could play a bit with the layout for the photos.

All four blocks were sent off to Rosanne. To see her work with the quilt, head over to Instagram or her blog.

Thanks Rosanne, for picking this block!!!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Modern Insta Bee - March (catch-up post)

March saw Joanna picking the Mosaic Tiles, a block we hadn't yet made during the past 10 months. It was also one of few in the book (Modern Bee: 13 quilts to make with friends, by Lindsay Conner) without any half square triangles...

Joanna asked for them to be made in scrappy beige / cream low volume background with hot pinks and bright oranges for squares.

I find it really useful to audition fabric on Instagram before I make the blocks and this was the selection I showed Joanna:

As this was a new pattern, I made a test block in red and white.  

Cut up and rotated, it looked like this, which means I have another block for my "sampler quilt".

Noticing that the block seemed a little bit boring with only three different fabrics, I decided to use quite a few extra fabrics for the proper block for Joanna. This also meant I had lots of extra sub-blocks. In the end I sent Joanna two finished blocks, plus some left over sub blocks. 
(Picture from Joanna's Instagram as I forgot to take photos of the finished blocks)
To see the final quilt, hop over to Joanna's blog

Modern Insta Bee - February (catch-up post)

Where has time gone??? It's already June and I haven't yet blogged about the blocks I made for February, March and April in the UK Modern Insta Bee.  Let's see if I can get a few post made today...

Here's February!

Julie picked the Triple Star by Elena Roscoe of Hot Pink Stitches. To match with Julie's home, she asked us to use black for the background and hot pinks, not too girlie, but more lace and leather.

To be on the safe side, I picked out a few pinks from my stash and asked Julie which ones she'd like.

Then the cutting commenced....

Layouts were tested...

Here's the middle star; there are some seriously small squares... Centre fabrics is by Karen Lewis Textiles. If you haven't seen her screen printed fabrics before, go and have a look at her home page. They are absolutely gorgeous!!!

Quite a few seams later, here's the final block! It is a really vibrant block, with very strong pinks against the solid Kona Jet Black. Unfortunately, the camera didn't cope very well with all the black.

Here from another angle,  which seems to show the colours a bit better.

Hopefully, we'll see the finished quilt in Julie's Instagram feed soon...