Monday, 29 July 2013

its a win win!

Gosh can I just say it's taken me an actual week to recover from the Fat Quarterly retreat, a week!!

Looking back through the photo's I've taken during the fab weekend away in London you wouldn't know I'd been on a sewing retreat, it honestly looks like I've been on a boozey weekend!! Ooops!!

So the weekend started around 11:30am on the Thursday when Katy and I hopped on the train to London.

G&T on the train to London
The excitement and sunshine made a G&T a must right? We checked into our hotel, here's my swanky room, which is again a must I reckon!

Swanky hotel room
I didn't take any classes on the Friday I just socialised with friends from near and far whom I didn't take any photo's of at all, I'm so rubbish! Friday night saw a posse of us eat at the popular Byron Burger - yum yum.

Byron Burger: Lu, Jenna, Mr. Aurifil & Katy

Here you can see Lucie & Jenna deep in conversation with the lovely Mr. Aurifil and Katy in the background!

On Saturday I actually did some sewing!! I took Lucie's Improv piecing class and loved it! Improv does not come easy to me so to be taught by Lu was amazing. 

Improv block made in Lu's class
I'm going to work on some more of the techniques Lu taught that morning and make Hunter a mini quilt to hang above his cot. Lu has a book out that is amazing and teaches step by step Lu's method of Improv, it's called Quilt Improv and I really can't recommend the book enough, it's beautifully written and very visual in its style which is perfect for visual learners like moi!

Here are a few more snaps of the socialising that occurred over the weekend, what can I say for me it's the most important part!

L-R: Lu, Lynne, Me, John, LJ, Katy, Tacha & Krista

Leaving goodies from another retreater!

Oh dear! LJ, John & I in Fabric Nightclub.
The retreat also had a market type of affair on the Saturday night so I took Simply Solids along in a suitcase!

The market went well and I learnt lots for my next travelling shop which is going to be the Festival of Quilts next month!! Stand E16 if you're coming along!!

So retreat was great, I loved hanging out in real life with my online friends and meeting lots of customers of Simply Solids for the first time too. I learnt lots in both Lu & Mandy's classes and I can't wait to do it again next year!

Before then though I have this to deal with:


The winner of a signed copy of Katy Jones's book 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks is comment no........

who said:

Well Done Linda - I'll be in touch to get your prize to you!

Monday, 8 July 2013

katy jones & quilt blocks

Some of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram may have seen that this week I've been working on some quilt blocks.

The blocks are all from my sewing bestie, AKA Katy Jones, AKA 'Im A Ginger Monkey' new book: 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks published by Martingale.

Katy is an internet turned real-life friend and a proper brilliant one at that! She has inspired and encouraged me to sew so many quilts as well as other stuff like zippered pouches, the staple dress & framed purses and of course she has taught me all I know about English Paper Piecing! She is my one-stop shop for all sewing advice and has held my hand so many times through fabric choices I can't begin to tell you. I'm really proud of her and feel so very lucky that she really is one of my best friends ever!

The book I feel, is a must for all quilters, whether you are a beginner or an old hat! Its so beautifully laid out and the instructions are very easy to follow. For me the best part is seeing how Katy has used traditional blocks and given them a new lease of life with her stunning fabric choices.

To celebrate all her hard work and the publication of her first solo book I've got a super spectacular giveaway - a signed copy of the book and a scrap pack of all the fabrics that I used to make my blocks!!

The fabric is all available (except the skulls but there is some in the prize) in my online shop Simply Solids. I used fabric from the Sketch & Rain lines to highlight  how great these two designs play together!

So how do you enter? Just follow my blog and leave a comment to say you have done this. Simples right?

The competition will close at Noon on Sunday 14th July 2013 with the winner chosen by and announced later that evening.

Good Luck!!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Its all about me!

With only a coule of weeks to go to the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London, it's that time where we tell everyone all about ourselves and link up at the Fat Quarterly Blog!

This is me modelling my newly made Staple Dress which will also be coming to retreat! 

Some of you are going know me quite well through various forms of social media, real life and my online fabric shop Simply Solids. I reckon there are also going to be a bunch of folks who have no idea who the hell I am, so here goes!

I'm a mum of 3 kids, Holly, Max & Hunter! Hunter came to retreat with me last year as he was just a few weeks old. This time there will be no kids - Woop!!

Holly, Max & Hunter with their friend Harland on the right

I bough Simply Solids last September from my lovely real life friend Mandy as she had decided to get a proper job!! I planned on keeping it small and low key, more of a hobby really as I was also a neo-natal nurse. Things haven't quite panned out that way and the shop is going from strength to strength so I quit my nursing job, which to be honest is still scaring me and I'm now broke to boot!

I started sewing back in 2009 and although I don't get as much time to sew as I would really like, I still manage to squeeze in bits here and there. I love making quilts and sewing smaller projects like pouches & cushions.

Scrappy Trip Along


Zipped Pouch


Table Runner
At retreat I'm doing Kerry's PJ pants class, Lucie's Improv class & Katy's Triangle City EPP. 

I'm especially looking forward to just hanging out and selfish as it sounds, having some me time away from the responsibilities of 3 children!! 

I cannot wait to chat, laugh, learn some new techniques, sew & of course have a beer or three, meet new sewers, put faces to twitter & blog names and spend some much needed down time with some of my real life best friends.

If you want to connect you can find me here:

Twitter: @sewjustinesew & @SimplySolids
IG: SewJustineSew
Flickr: sewjustinesew

17 sleeps........EEEEEEP!!!!
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