Sunday, January 15, 2017

Meet the Host: Nicky Eglington of Mrs Sew and Sow

Each month, we're going to have a FAL host (or two) introduce themselves so you can get to know our lovely community of Global Co-hosts. First up is Nicky:

Hi!  My name is Nicky Eglinton and I'm one of the global 2017 Finish-A-Along hosts.  This is my second year as co-host so I should know what I'm doing.  

I live in the South of England but was born in bonnie Scotland and after a few years studying in Aberdeen and Glasgow, I came to London to get my first job!   I loved the theatres, cinema, restaurants, walking across Waterloo Bridge and looking one way at the Houses of Parliament and the other way at St Paul's.  Life was good!

Houses of Parliament to the left, 

the dome of St. Paul's to the right

Since then I have moved even further south and out of the hubbub of the City to the quiet more rural life of Sussex to raise a family with hubby. It has suited us well and we have three lovely children and a cat and a dog! Here are the pets in portrait and 'helping' me quilt!

Saffy and Maddie

In my childhood I learnt to stitch from my mother - first toys, and cross stitch, then clothes in my teens and twenties (back then it was actually cheaper to do that). 

Meet Dandelion - I still have him!

She also taught me knitting and crochet.  She loved passing on her skills though we struggled at times as she was right handed and I was left handed.  Every thing I did looked wrong to her as I was doing it in what seemed an awkward way....and there were very few lefthanded tools to help!  So I now prefer right handed scissors - in fact I cannot use lefthanded ones!!

Jumping forward a bit, to maintain my sanity after kid no 1, I went to an evening class about patchwork and quilting.  My chance to talk with grown ups!   I was completely in love with applique!   It was all I did!  And then I ended up on a course at  The Quilt Room to make this quilt in 2005!  


Friendship's Garden Quilt

by Alma Allen & Cherie Ralston

The applique was easy for me but would you believe I was terrified of the HST border round each block and the quilt remained in pieces, and on several FAL lists.

Carolyn Forster taught me piecing and introduced me to blogging!  Wow has she got a lot to answer for!  I started blogging as I wanted to record my stitching and gardening - hence my blog name Mrs Sew and Sow!

The sewing has taken over somewhat but this year I will be back in my garden and bringing lots of flowers into the house!  Wonder if a flower bed can count as a WIP or UFO?? What do you think?

Well back to that quilt I started in 2005 I kept moving it from one FAL list to the next! I have joined up with the FAL since the beginning - though I may have missed a few quarters - and it has helped enormously - mainly from all the encouragement I received from commenters who have become friends.  

Suddenly it became the time to finish that quilt! I even had to learn FMQ in order to do it!   

And here it is!  So all of you who have longterm WIPs/UFOs do not despair!

Finishing that longstanding UFO was like a release - it had been a block hanging over me!   I started actually finishing more stuff.   

Since 2012 I have been keen to meet up with people, and join in the quilting  community.  I went to the Fat Quarterly Retreats in London and learnt about the Siblings Together charity.  I have been making quilts for the charity since then - one or two to begin with, then I joined a bee to make more, helped others finish quilts and finally last year Maria and I were leading the campaign to make 100 quilts for the charity.  

The charity helps children in the UK social care system retain bonds with their siblings at holiday camps. They are given a quilt to remind them of the fun times together.  

We will be aiming to make another 100 quilts in 2017 with help from a generous community of quilters! Would you like to join us? You can find more information here and here!

I love scraps and have been running a monthly link up, #Scraptastictuesday, on the second Tuesday of every month, with my co host Leanne (who also hosts FAL).  We like to celebrate the origins of patchwork, though Leanne uses scraps in more of an improv way than I do but you will find all sorts of inspiration there! 

I am a scrappy quilter for ecological and economical reasons! I like to hang onto those pounds and pence and keep my scraps out of the landfill sites! And I just love cramming as many different fabrics as possible into one quilt.  

We would love you to join us with your scrappy projects (they don't need to be finished), plans, and storage systems.

I try to make a scrappy sampler quilt each year with tutorials showing you how to make your own!  2015 is finished and 2016 is basted ready for a finish this quarter I hope!

Liberty Sampler 2015 & Karen Lewis Sampler 2016

And now I'm setting up a local group of stitchers in Sussex with my friends and co-founders Kelly and Jane and we are actually going to meet up and stitch together in a room! And eat cake! With no children! It is starting this month!

I seem to have made lots of quilts. I find the creative process both stimulating and therapeutic. I do tend to make up my own patterns though on occasion if I love something I will try to make my own version of it.

Here are some of my favourite quilt finishes:

Top Left : Nordik Quilt; Top Right & Clockwise:  Double Sided Welsh Blanket Quilt in Karen Lewis Textiles, pattern by Mary Emmens;  Hand stitched and quilted scrappy clamshell quilt;  Vintage Squares quilt; Stingy Bee Row Quilt  (both this and Nordik were made with help from members of Bee a Brit Stingy )

And here is one I hope to finish this coming quarter!  It is my take on the traditional Double Wedding Ring (my own variation) - a lot of it stitched by hand!  I used acrylic templates made by Marti Michell to help with the cutting and designing of these blocks.

Hoopla! Quilt

My FAL list is always a long one (yes I am a member of Archie the Wonder Dog's #ridiculouslylongFAList) as when I used to choose a few items for my list I always wanted to work on something else!  Much easier to keep everything out in the open I found!

I hope you will join us on our journey to complete those listed projects and I look forward to seeing your finishes!  Remember to cheer on the rest of the community - it really does make a difference!

Thank you, Nicky! Happy stitching, eveyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My 2017 Q1 FAL Goals

Felicity Quilts Finish A Long

To kick off Q1 of the Finish-A-Long, here's my first set of 2017 finish goals:

1. My 2015 VMQG Round Robin quilt. I had this on my final 2016 goals list but I wasn't able to get to it. I've put a small amount of time into it, and I've got a plan for how to build it up to the size I want. Hope to work on that in the next month or so, providing the temperatures cooperate. My sewing studio isn't finished yet and it's cccccold in there even with a heater!

2015 Round Robin quilt top

2. My 2015 Bee Sewcial quilt - Winter. I've begun the quilting but I'm not in love with how it's turning out. I'm pretty certain I know the solution (MORE QUILTING! MAYBE SOME BY HAND!) and I plan to get it done.

Winter quilting in progress

3. My 2016 Bee Sewcial quilt - Lake Country. Needs only a small block to plug a gap in the layout, then it should be ready to assemble and quilt.

Lake Country blocks

Three quilts in three months? SURE WHY NOT. 

Why not add another goal and truly make this a stretch target kind of situation? 

4. My 2016 VMQG Round Robin quilt. I moved away mid-year so I sadly had to withdraw my quilt from the group activity, but I plan to add to it on my own using the monthly prompts. I'm pretty excited about this one - what's not to love about low volume prints + bright florals especially Anna Maria Horner florals? 

2016 VMQG Round Robin quilt in progress

Other projects I'm working on besides these quilts include more pillows (to which I'll devote a proper blog post soon), a mini quilt for the MQG swap, and some garment sewing. I like having lots of things on the go, but with an over-arching plan and I think putting together this list provides the structure I need to motivate me.

I intend to get this blog more active in conjunction with all of this FAL work, too. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Time to Link up Q1 Finish A Long Proposed Finishes

2017...are you ready for a new year? A new year a new list!
For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, Flickr or Instagram of each successful finish from your original list.

Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list long or short, as you wish. The 2017 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent FAL page. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q1 of the FAL - you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo (think about visiting them and saying thank you):

As you may recall from last year, there was a return of tutorial week at the end of each quarter, between the opening of the link for finishes and the day that link closes. Are you enjoying this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! This will take place each quarter. Each host works hard to put these together so I hope you are visiting their blogs to encourage them. If you have a tutorial that you would like to share, please let me or another host know.

It's time to round up those projects you want to finish over the next three months, take a photo of each one and make your list. In order for your projects to be eligible, they must at least be a tangible project at the start of the quarter.  That means, at the very least, a fabric pull matched to a pattern, a quilt top needing to be quilted, or a half knit jumper. I love seeing your bee blocks, but they won't count unless you happen to be turning them all into a fully completed quilt!

It is very helpful if you tag your list as #2017FALQ1yourname when posting on social media: Flickr, Facebook & Instagram. Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing progress or finishes before the link, helps the hosts find your original list quickly - especially when this is done over a 3 month period. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link your finishes up when the quarter closes.

The 2017 Q1 link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one blog - and that link will show up on all of the blogs. If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link-up if you need it.

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too. When creating your list there is one thing to remember....No deductions for not completing something so ..... Aim High! Nothing to lose!!!

Ready? Get those lists together and get linked up. The Q1 linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, January 14, 2017- as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. Remember: you only need to link up on ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.

Announcing 2017 Finish-A-Long

I'm delighted to tell you that I've joined the ranks of the hosts of the 2017 Finish-A-Long, which went global last year.

Felicity Quilts Finish A Long

The global community of bloggers who are hosting the 2017 FAL includes:

The FAL is a huge inspiration and motivation for me to get projects completed so I really invite you to join in. Start making your list of projects you'd like to finish this quarter and get ready link it up!

The 2017 Q1 linky will go live at 1AM EST January 8, 2017 in its own post, and you'll have just about a week to link up. More details including dates and rules can be found on my 2017 Finish-A-Long page.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Pillows Plus (photo heavy)

As I mentioned in my previous post, Leanne's Bee Sewcial prompt for November was really inspiring to me. In fact, I made another improv bull's eye right away and turned it into a pillow:

Improv Bull's Eye pillow front

For the back, I had an extra quarter circle, so I just added to it until it was the right size, and then made a simple envelope closure:

Improv Bull's Eye pillow back

The quilting was really simple - just done with the walking foot and white thread. Super quick and effective, in my opinion.

I also had occasion to make three more of my improv rainbow gradient pillows.

The first one was for the little boy who bid on the silent auction pillow but didn't win it. His mom arranged a wine for pillow trade and I was very happy to oblige:

Pillow for N, front

I might even love it better than the original! Back view:

Pillow for N, back

Detail shot of the quilting, all done with Aurifil in various shades:

Pillow for N, quilting detail

And those pillows being shared on Instagram led to another commission for Christmas by a lovely young lady and friend of my daughter's! She contacted me via her mom's Instagram account to ask me to make two pillow for her dad!

Pillow 1 for Keith, front

Pillow 1 for Keith, quilting detail

Pillow 1 for Keith, back

And the second one:

Pillow 2 for Keith, front

Pillow 2 for Keith, back

Pillows for Keith

I've committed to a local artisans' fair for next December, and I think these pillows will feature prominently in my inventory!