Monday 22 October 2012

Gifts for Quilters

Just one of ten seasonal patterns from
my Christmas on the Side pattern book

People are thinking of Christmas already.  How do I know?  My Christmas pattern books are selling well in my Etsy shop and on Amazon.  I thought I would share some suggestions for people who don’t sew but who may want to buy a pressie for somebody who does. 
So without any more ado, here are my TOP TEN GIFTS FOR QUILTERS:. 
1.         Books – yes the bookshelf may be buckling under the weight of quilting books but trust me, a quilter can never have too many.  But which to buy?   Obviously any of my books from Amazon would make a lovely gift but here are a couple suggestions of non-Pastchsmithian books that contain a variety of projects and are suitable for all levels of sewists.

2.         A subscription to Audible.  There is nothing so lovely as stitching away whilst listening to a great book on your MP3, phone or ipad.  Audible have a subscription service where you can buy a bundle which allows for 12 books to be downloaded of a year-long period.

3.         Fat quarter bundles – if you are living with a quilter you will know what a fat quarter is but if not - it is a quarter of a yard of fabric.  The Fat Quarter Shop is an on-line shop based in the USA who stock all sorts of pre-cut bundings and the good news - they ship worldwide at very reasonable costs.
4.         The most important item in a quilter’s arsenal is a seam ripper.  A seam ripper is a small pointed blade that is used to unpick fabrics  There are some lovely ones around – just look online in Etsy (put ‘seam ripper’ in the search box – pick a fancy one and check it out - literally).  

5.         Storage boxes – pick something colourful and decorative.  Any size will do from small to large and they can be cardboard, wood, leather and plastic.  I particularly like the selection at Paperchase.  And I
kea also sell a huge selection that come plain and can be decorated with paint or paper:
5.         A cross-stitch kit, sewing kit, button kit – any sort of craft kit (but not woodwork or metal work or how-to-change-a-tyre type of kit!).   There are many kits on the market so play it safe pick a chart that a quilter could incorporate into a pillow or wall hanging –  houses, chickens, seasonal charts work well.        
Yet again your local fabric store or craft store should also stock some kits.  And the Fat Quarter Shop has a lovely selection of charts and kits.

7.         Sign your quilter up for a New Year class on Craftsy.

8.         Coloured sewing thread. A quilter/sewist never has enough coloured thread. Some of these threads come in sets which make an excellent gift on their own.  Yet again the Fat Quarter Shop has a lovely selection of machine and hand threads.
One of many thread packs from The FQS

9.         A pretty journal and nice pen in which your quilter can write her notes, stick pictures of ideas and keep a record of any projects.  Here in Britain we have WHSmith which supply some nice leather bound journals.  Amazon also stock some.

10.         On a similar vein - a great secret Santa gift or if buying for a fellow quilter - a quilting calendar.  Amazon do some that have a project a week.  Here are a couple:

 So there you have it - no excuses this year for not getting the right thing.    Sew until next time ........

Monday 8 October 2012

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving - Profitez bien le jour de l'Action de Grace

Canadian Maple Mug Rug Pattern

In celebration of Canada Day this October add this wonderful mug rug to your table.

One of the things I love about mug rugs is the ability to bring seasons and celebrations into the home for little more than a few small pieces of fabric.

At Patchsmith Palace we have already had our first batch of sweet pumpkin drop scones and there is plenty of pureed pumpkin in the freezer for my next batch of muffins.  At this rate I am going to need a bigger chair to accommodate my bigger behind.   I was going to say I could sit on the throne – but here in England the throne of a house is the toilet and that would never work – there is no electricity in the bathroom!  With my history of calamity that is most probably a very good thing.
Many, many people have downloaded my spinning pumpkin block that I created for the Glorious Autumn Block Party over at Quilting Gallery.  I made my block relatively plain so that people could use it to fit in with their colours and style.  It seems to have worked – it has been well received.

Snowman Mug Rug pattern

Gotta go – I am working on a new Christmas pattern.  Until next time ......

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Glorious Autumn Spinning Pumpkins Block

Pumpkin Patch Mug Rug Pattern

Hooray – this is the week that I finally get to share my Glorious Autumn block with you.  Becky at Patchwork Posse and Eleanor of Quilt in a Day have blazed the trail this week over at the Quilting Gallery so make sure you pay them a visit.  Find out what makes the Patchsmith’s tick whilst you are there by reading my profile and make sure you check out the Quilter’s Super deal – there is a different one for each block release. 

But today is my turn and I would like to introduce you to the Spinning Pumpkin Block.  
The Spinning Pumpkin Block fulfils my three requirements for this block – it is functional, it is quick and easy to put together and it is suitable for beginners and experienced quilters alike.  Also the pumpkins spin around the block so it can be viewed from any angle – isn’t that versatile?

I have included a PDF download of the block construction and also included with it a free Patchsmith pattern to turn three of these blocks into a lovely, colourful table runner.  Feel free to download this pattern for personal use only.  However, this pattern is not to be distributed or sold, neither can items made from it be sold without the Patchsmith’s permission.  Don’t forget to add your photos to the Glorious Autumn Flickr group when made so we can all get a good look at them - we are a nosey lot here at Patchsmith Palace! 

If time doesn’t allow for you to make the table runner just now then why not make the Pumpkin Patch mug rug from my Etsy Store. This super little mug rug takes just a couple of hours to put together and there is plenty of room on it for a cup-of-tea and a pumpkin muffin.  In fact, if you batch make it (a bit like pumpkin muffins) then you should be able to make one for you and one to give away in a single afternoon.  

All Patchsmith patterns are priced so that everybody can afford them so join the Patchsmith and create a cosy look for your home this autumn.  So be sure to check out my Etsy pattern store for more seasonal mug rugs.