Sunday, 30 June 2013

Flower Fairy Fever

First of all, I would like to send out a huge thanks to everyone who stopped by on the bloghop last week, it was so heart warming to receive such kind and generous comments, every single one of them made my day!  I have done my upmost to reply to one and all, and I've had some great quilty conversations too :-) 
Apart from the hop, it's been a phenomenally busy week.  I've gone from life coming to a complete standstill while my children both had chicken pox, to busy overdrive.  Think school induction days, playgroups, swimming lessons, ballet lessons, play dates, you name it.  Not to mention party preparation for the special girl in my life who turns 4 very soon.   Overdrive is exhausting, but I have to say I prefer it!
In between being busy with the children, I've managed to complete the cot quilt top of my fairy quilt.

This fabric is completely gorgeous as you can see.  Not just in design but in feel too, as there are so many different textures.  The spot fabric is an upholstery fabric, which makes it so tactile, almost like velvet, but the only drawback is the weave is so much looser than a standard quilting cotton.  So I've had to do a lot to reinforce it. For example, I've zig-zagged all around the edge of the quilt like this. 

And when I was chain piecing I did a few backstitches at both the beginning and end of each square to give it extra strength.  It's taken a bit longer, but I think it's worth the extra effort. 
So now I am making the same quilt, this time single bed sized.  I'm just over half way through...wish me luck! 
Thanks so much for stopping by. 
Linking up with:

 Sarah x

Friday, 21 June 2013

Let's Get Acquainted!

Hello, and welcome to my little corner of the blogging universe!  My name's Sarah, I live in Jersey, Channel Islands and I blog about all my quilty makes, many of which I sell through my website,
Don't worry, I'm not going to give you a sales pitch on my blog, I realise it's a bit like selling ice to Eskimos!   
But I do want to share some of my quilts  and answer some of the questions that Beth posed for us.  By the way, a huge thank you to Beth for hosting this awesome bloghop, what a task it must have been to co-ordinate us all! 
So here goes with answering the questions, hopefully they will help me focus and not ramble too much ;-)
 When did you start quilting and who taught you?
I've always loved being creative, and I remember doing knitting and cross stitch with my mum when I was 8 years old.  But it has only been in the last 4 years that I have embarked on quilt making.  It kind of came naturally to me, and I was initially inspired by my wonderful friend Rachel's mum who made the most beautiful quilts, and did a City and Guilds Patchwork and Quilting Diploma.  You can more about my creative journey on my 'About Sarah' page, if you're interested!  But to cut a long story short, after my daughter was born, (she's now nearly 4) I started doing a Level 3 Certificate in Patchwork and Quilting via Distance Learning with the School of Stitched Textiles.  I am not even half way though yet, (you work at your own pace) but I have learnt so much already, I just love it.
It's only been in the last year that I set up Quilt Candy, and I've had such a great response to my work, that at the moment I don't have much time to focus on my coursework.  I have also been completely distracted by this wonderful blogosphere where I have learnt just so much from so many talented bloggers, and made so many wonderful friends.  So in a nutshell, the answer to the question is, I am self taught, but I am learning new things every day and I so enjoy sharing all I learn and make on my blog.
Why did you start your blog?
I started my Quilt Candy blog when I launched my website, as I wanted a 'behind the scenes' narrative, as well as wanting to meet and share my experiences with other bloggers. I'm so glad I did!
What is the meaning of your blog's name?
I called myself Quilt Candy for two reasons.  Firstly, I make quilts and bunting for children, so to refer to my quilts as 'candy' seemed really appropriate.  All kids love candy!  Secondly, Quilt Candy is a bit like 'eye candy' and I really want my quilts to be just that; quilts with beautiful fabrics that you can't take your eyes off. 
 What is your favourite type of project?
My first love is making quilts.  I know that sounds very generic, but it's true.  And the irony is that I spend a lot of my time making bunting!  I sell bunting on my website, and it's proved very popular.  People just go mad for bunting, especially when it's got their child's name on it ;-)
I am always looking out for fabrics that will work well for personalised bunting, so that I can offer lots of choices.  I am sure it will come as no surprise that this one is the most popular!

And here's my latest design; in fact the Retro Birds fabric was chosen by a customer and I think it works really well. 
So back to the original question, what is my favourite type of project. (Sorry, told you I ramble!)  Well I just love designing quilts.  Sometimes I can just look at a collection of fabrics and instantly know what to do with them.  That's what happened when I got my hands on some of the Out at Sea collection by Sarah Jane.  I pretty much designed this quilt in my head and just used pen and paper to help with the quilt math.  That's the part I don't love so much!
And I love hand quilting too.  Large stitches using no. 8 perle cotton thread.  (Sarah Fielke style).  It looks soooo pretty, and I think makes a quilt look extra special. 
I tend to play around with designs too, rather than just sticking to straight lines all the time.  It makes the quilting real feature of the quilt as well.

I have also been lucky enough to do a spot of writing, which is my second love, after quilting.  This year I wrote for British Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, which was fab, and I'd love to do more!
I've also reviewed a couple of books over at The Sewing Directory website.  Now I really would like to do more of this too!
Do you belong to or would you like to belong to bees, QALs?
Just when I thought I was really busy and couldn't take on any more commitments, I only went and joined my very first sewing bee!  It's called the Strip Bees and it's hosted by the lovely Maria.  You can read about it in detail here, but essentially there are 6 of us, and we each make a strip and then pass it on, until we each have a quilt top made of strips at the end of it.  Cool huh?!  It's only just kicked off and here's my first strip. 
I am so looking forward to seeing how all our quilts turn out!
Have you attended or are you planning on attending any sewing get togethers?
If you are too, I'd love to hear from you!
What are you working on now?
Right now I've got a few things on the go.  Firstly I'm working on a commission quilt, which is going to be just beautiful. 

And my own personal WIP is my I Heart New York Quilt, which you can read all about here
And wait till you see the backing fabric! 
You'll have to come back again when it's finished for a full view ;-)
What type of sewing machine do you use?
I am so lucky to be able to say that I have the Bernina 550QE sewing machine.  It is my machine of dreams, and all thanks to the advice of my very lovely blogging friend ChrissieD (whose work is amazing by the way) and my wonderful husband who purchased it as a (semi) surprise for me for Mother's Day back in March this year.  I can't recommend it highly enough. 
 What other hobbies do you have?
Right now quilting (and bunting making) pretty much takes up all my time.  Did I mention I have 2 small children, aged nearly 4 and 18 months?!! But I love to read, and I love to write, both of which I don't do nearly as often as I would like.  It's one of those situations where something's got to give, and in this case it's reading.  I am no longer up to speed with the latest novels and authors, I just don't have the time.  It saddens me a little, but I just can't do it all!
Do you have any blogging or blog photography tips/tricks to share?
I can't claim to be an expert when it comes to photography.  I have a reasonably good camera and I take full advantage of picmonkey and all it's wonderful features to try and enhance my photos.  It's been a mission of mine to make my pictures as good as possible without spending a fortune on cameras and lenses.  It does take time, and being no expert it probably takes me longer, but I think I am getting there, slowly! 
So my very amateur tips  would be;
- experiment as much as possible  and don't be afraid to zoom in close to capture the details.

- choose a setting on your camera that blurs the background
- try and take your photos outdoors, as natural light is so much better
What other social media do you actively use?
You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook, and I've just set up my Quilt Candy Pinterest Page, so I shall be pinning like mad very soon!
Thank you so much for stopping by.  If you've got this far without falling asleep then you either deserve a medal or you've got the stamina of an ox.  No, seriously, I really do appreciate you still being here.  What a great series this is!
Here's the rest of this weeks schedule:
Friday, June 21
Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Stacey @ The Tilted Quilt
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym
Sarah x

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Flutterbys and Flower Fairies

I'm working on a commission quilt at the moment.  In fact, 2 commission quilts.  A single bed quilt, and a cot quilt.  Both the same, and using these completely adorable Flower Fairy Fabrics from the Nursery Collection by Jane Churchill.  
I've only made a little progress on piecing so far, but once I get going I think the two quilt tops will come together quite quickly.
I've opted for 5 inch squares to best show off the fairies, and these adorable embroidered butterflies. 
I am just loving working with pink again.  I'm a true girly girl at heart so this quilt is right up my street! 
Thanks so much for stopping by.  And if you are a regular follower, I hope you've noticed and like the changes I've made to my blog?!!  (Clue: New photo header, blue background, photo of me!!)
And I do hope you will stop by next week, as it's my week on the...
Plum and June 

In case you haven't joined in the 'hop fun' yet, here are last weeks and this weeks bloggers.  Do stop by and take a look :-)
Friday, June 14
Julie @ Jolie Maxtin
Melissa @ Melia Mae Quilting
Adrianne @ On The Windy Side
Molli @ Molli Sparkles
Laura @ Little And Lots
Valerie @ Between Quilts

Friday, June 21
Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Stacey @ The Tilted Quilt
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym

Linking up with:
Sarah x

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Retro Bird Bunting

As well as blogging about my quilty adventures, I have a little website where I sell my wares.  I tend not to  harp on about mention it too much on my blog, because I figure it's a bit like trying to sell ice to Eskimos!
I spend a lot of my evenings fulfilling bunting orders, but again, I tend not to blog about it much, because I am usually making the same bunting, with different names on.  It wouldn't make for very interesting blog posts!
But recently I had a customer who chose the fabric she wanted for her bunting and it was great to work with something totally different.  She chose this gorgeous Retro Bird fabric, available from Fabric Rehab. 
I auditioned a few co-ordinating fabrics from my stash, and I'm pretty pleased with how this one turned out. 
I fussy cut the fabric to show off the gorgeous Retro Birds as much as possible. 
My customer wanted to have a couple of hearts on the flags, and I think they work pretty damn well. 
So well in fact that I'm going to add hearts as an option on all of my bunting on the website from now on.
And here's the personalised lettering. 
I'm pleased with the photos of this bunting.  I usually find it really hard to photograph something so long and fluttery!  And bright blue sky makes the world of difference.
I'm particularly pleased with these photos because I took them while my husband was at work.  I had to rely on a slightly smaller helper to get these shots...
Didn't she do well!!  (And off pre-school with Chicken Pox!!)
Thank you so much for stopping by. 
Linking up with:
Plum and June
 Sarah x

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Strip Bees

It's been non stop around here these last few days.  And what do you do when you are flat out?  Sign up to a bee of course!  Well that's what I have done, because it sounded like so much fun and I just couldn't resist!
So thank you so much Maria for inviting me to join your wonderful bee...

There are 6 lovely members, who I am so looking forward to getting to know much more.  Do take a look!  

The idea is that we each make a strip, 40" x 8" and then pass it on to the next person.  A Round Robin if you will.  So the fab thing about it is, we each get to contribute to one another's quilt, and we all have a finished quilt top at the end of it too!  I just loved the concept, it really is going to be the ultimate friendship quilt.   
Anyway, in case you missed my post the other day, here's the fabrics I decided to use for my first strip. 
It's the Gypsy Girl Collection by Lily Ashbury.  I love them so much it was hard to cut into them! 
It look me a while to come up with a design that wasn't going to take me too many hours, but at the same time was going to be pretty and show of the gorgeous fabrics. 
In the end I decided to have a go at some Octagons. (not Hexagons, as I may have mentioned in a previous post.  Doh, can't count!) This is what I came up with. 


I just love the colours in this bird fabric.  Luckily bought extra of this one :-)

And aren't these deer adorable. 

So that's my first strip done!  I am so excited (and nervous) to send it off to Julie, who will be adding to it in round two.  And I am equally excited (and equally nervous) about receiving and adding to Amy's strip, which from what I have seen so far is amazing!!

This is my first ever bee, and it's so much fun.  I look forward to sharing sneak peeks of the rest of my strips with you.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Linking up with


Sarah x