3 March 2015

Sizzix Dresden Quilt Top

One of my quilting projects I've been working on in recent months has been this vintage inspired Dresden quilt. 

I'm making this using my Sizzix machine and the Large Dresden Die Cut. I've been working away hand appliquéing these blocks for quite some time, but it's been really enjoyable and I've loved admiring the fabrics as I sew along. I was inspired to start this quilt as the Sizzix machine is just fabulous for taking all the effort out of cutting curved quilt pieces, which I have always shy'ed away from and a Dresden quilt has been on my bucket list for too long!

The plates are pieced onto 18" blocks so there is a lot of white space, which I always find so lovely to look at. I'm thinking I might possibly hand quilt this one? Also having a scalloped edge, oh wouldn't that be just heavenly! Talking of white space, have you SEEN the new Sizzix machine!?! It's white, Yaaay! 
You don't realise how excited this makes me ... I've always wanted a white Sizzix machine! Thank you Sizzix for going neutral, this new colour-way is available now, I think, and I may possibly be a lucky receiver of one soon, I'll keep you posted ;-) You can follow all my Sizzix blog posts on their blog here as well as the tutorial to make the quilt. Have a great week! Also don't forget to enter my Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle fabric giveaway here. Competition closes this Sunday. 

2 March 2015

Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway! Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle

I have a super exciting competition giveaway today! My very own 'Blogger's Choice' fat quarter bundle by Fat Quarter Shop! 

I have personally selected 15 fat quarters from Fat Quarter Shop's beautiful range of fabrics - from their new arrivals in February. I was lucky to get that month as their were SO many brilliant collections arriving! Florals and texts from Cotton and Steel lines, stripes and checks by American Jane's latest collection 'Fresh Air', and a few lovely 1930's repro's from Darlene Zimmerman, some delightful florals from the gorgeous 'Milk, Sugar & Flower' collection and rounding it out with some solids by American Made Brand. Perfect.

I think the colour palette is just great, though I would say that as I'm a little biased ;-) So more importantly, what should I make with these pretties? I need something special. Any ideas?

Right, who fancies winning one of these gorgeous 'Jessie Fincham Bloggers Choice Fat Quarter Bundles', offered by the very generous Fat Quarter Shop? Of course you do, and all you have to do is...
To Enter:

Leave a comment on this post telling me what you would like to make with them and follow my blog
For an extra entry, you can follow me on Instagram @messyjesse1 - leave another comment on this post to tell me.

Competition closes Sunday 8th March I will then check through the results and announce the winner Monday - so be sure to subscribe and check back. Best of luck!

28 February 2015

American Museum In Bath

Last year I was lucky enough to take a visit to the American Museum in Britain, based in Bath it is really one of the most beautiful settings I've ever come across. My prime motivation for going was to view the beautiful collection of antique quilts on display, of course. However the grounds at Claverton Manor with views over the Limpley Stoke Valley seriously rivalled any quilt display. We also had the perfect weather that day so it was a real treat to see it in all it's shining glory. 

Though, I know you didn't click here to read about that … you wanted to see some quilting eye candy! I just thought I would share just a handful of my favourite's as I urge you all to visit the museum in person and see these beauties in real life to truly appreciate the workmanship. You can also purchase a book on the whole of the collection here

The museum has a collection of over 200 quilts with about 50 on rotating display to the public in the Textile Room. The quilts are displayed in a moving rack system, much like a poster display setup in shops. I remember it was like paging through a good book, eagerly awaiting the next chapter. Though this arrangement made it a little difficult to really 'see' the quilt's when there were lots of people gathering - all wanting to view different quilts at the same time. I would advise getting to the museum early and hitting the textile room first so you can avoid the crowds later on, then have a mooch about the museum, stopping for lunch in the Orangery cafe and walking the grounds in the afternoon. My photo's aren't great I'm afraid, they are all taken with my iPhone and it was rather tricky trying to get a clear shot through the glass reflections, while trying not to get in people's way. 

Firstly, I had to show my fellow English Paper Piecing lover's this absolutely stunning Hexagon and Star quilt. Isn't it just gorgeous, I remember admiring this for quite a while. It was pieced by hand using our favourite EPP method with silk fabrics. I love the deep colour's against the black, and the fussy-cut stripes used in the hexagons! The medallion effect from the centre creates a really striking look too. 

A simple 9-patch quilt, which reminded me I have one on my sewing-bucket list in order to use up my ever growing scrap pile! I love this pattern, it's so simple but effective and never seems to date. I'd love to drape this over my bed. I thought those cable quilted borders were something special too. 

I adore Amish quilts, so I was really pleased to see one in real life finally, this is a Log Cabin quilt, used in a 'Barn Raising' design; where a diamond radiates from the centre. The jewel colours really set the tone for this quilt I think. 

I never tire of seeing traditional red and white quilts, each one looks so different from the next and they always seem to pop up regularly on my quilting Pinterest board. This Pine Tree design was really beautiful, the hand quilting with scallops and wreath patterns was lovely to see in person, and left me full of motivation to hand quilt a full size quilt someday. Apparently Pine Tree designs are often used in American quilting and embroidery because it symbolises the pine forests of New England (where I really want to visit someday!)

Wow. This one really made a statement when I saw it, I definitely stood and admired this for some time. Another English paper pieced quilt, using an 8-pointed diamond - 3" size, perhaps? It was called the 'Sunburst Quilt', which is a very fitting name I think. 

This might have been my favourite! A cheerful Dresden quilt from 1920, it's such a happy scrappy quilt, you can't not smile when looking at it. I think this sewed the seed for me starting a Dresden quilt recently - more on that another time ;-)

Now I don't think it would be complete collection if I didn't show you a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, now would it? It's made using very English chintzy fabrics from the 1820s, so it was quite a contrast from a lot of the other quilts on display. 

A beautiful Hawaiian quilt, very typical in design with a symmetric appliqué made in two contrasting colour's. I had to snap a photo of this as I'm currently working on a small wall hanging size Hawaiian style quilt in a sunny yellow and white colour-way, (I'll share some progress here another day). The echo hand quilting is really special and unique to these traditional quilts. 

I didn't share a photo of the Baltimore Album quilt that they have on display at the museum because it's really special and you have to see it in person. Over 10ft sq, it's a real show-stopper and I know lots of people travel to the museum to see that one piece. We just so happened to visit last year at the same time as the Kaffe Fassett exhibition, so I'll share that in a separate post soon!

The museum has lots of other great things to see as well as the beautifully kept gardens, which is worth the visit alone. There are period rooms to explore and an interesting Native American section which we found fascinating. They are closed at the moment for building works and exhibition installation but re-opens for the year on the 14th March. You can find out more here

16 February 2015

Moda Building Blocks Quilt Update

Hello friends! I wanted to drop by today and give you an update on my Moda Modern Building Blocks Quilt. I'm 11 blocks in, and I think I'm getting the tough one's done first (I hope so, anyway!) those first two GIANT blocks were a little tricky to say the least! 

It's so fun piecing them together now the cutting is done - I did the cutting all in one go (and pulled a muscle in the process, eek!) over a few evenings. Phew! I'm really trying to take my time over each block to make sure they are as accurate as possible. I'm OK for the most part? Though I'm a little worried block 1 is slightly too small… 

I'm making them in order, from 1 - 48, but I'm looking forward to getting some sections joined! I discovered Patty from Walnut Street Quilts blog while making the quilt; she's been sewing the blocks and providing some handy tips along the way. I found the information on block 1 invaluable with those oh so joyful 'floating seams' ;-) 

I'm using all Kona Solids available from Sew and Quilt. Following the colour's of the original closely, and substituting a few here and there. They're mostly from the 1930's Kona palette, so I'm hoping it will be a pretty result. We have a handful of the patterns left in stock too! Also, have you SEEN Sherri's version from A Quilting Life!? I'm completely head over heels in love with her red and white MBB quilt. I really toyed with the idea of doing the same, but I didn't think I had enough red prints in my stash? Wait, who am I kidding, I do … but I just decided to go the colourful route instead. Perhaps there will be a red and white one in my future. 

Apologies for my dull pictures, I've had my big camera in the mender's since Christmas! They're apparently waiting on a part but it's taking months! Hence my lack of blogging, which I've missed so much and it's really got me down. But, I figured blogging with iPhone pictures is better than no blogging at all, right? I've been doing a lot of sewing which I haven't posted about here so I'm looking forward to sharing, if you can put up with my pictures that is! :-) Speak soon! xo

15 February 2015

Snapshots Quilt Along - Block 2: Sew On & Sew On

Welcome to month two of the Fat Quarter Shop, Snapshots quilt-a-long! The QAL is benefiting St Jude's Childrens Hospital, so FQS are asking quilter's for a small donation for each monthly block. This month it's this super fun sewing machine block! So fun! You can find this new block available here

The finished block measure up at 12" x 16" so it's a great size to use as a decorative mini quilt for your sewing room! (which I'm quite tempted to do!) I based the purple and grey colour's on my own Janome machine :-) I actually used a patterned white fabric for the main section of the machine initially, but it didn't stand out very well with the Kona Snow backing so I un-picked it all and started again with the checked blue fabric. Much better! "If at first we don't succeed, try, try again". 

And here's my first block! 'Let Them Eat Cake', which I didn't get round to sharing on the blog last month. Yummy, yummy! These are fun to make, I hope you can join in too. Please find all the details on the FQS blog here. Be sure to stop by the other bloggers to see their finished blocks this month too! :-) 

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

Also, talking of the Fat Quarter Shop - guess what … I have my very own Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle!! I'm so honoured! It's brand new for the month of February and it's available now. Of course I might be a little bit biased, but its a brilliant collection! What do you think? There's one (possibly two ;-) look out for a giveaway soon!) currently winging it's way across the atlantic and I'm so excited to receive it! You can purchase your own bundle here. Enjoy! 

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.