More stuff

Monday, 5 November 2012

Plum & June blog hop + Giveaway!

Plum and June
When I signed up for the Plum & June blog hop way back in June this year, I was given a hop date of November, which seemed like an awfully long way away.  Since then, I feel as though I have just blinked, and we are here already.  Argh!

Good thing I have been making my mini stockings as this has become my first ever Tutorial, which you can find posted here:

So a bit of background - I started blogging in June 2012 after attending the inaugural Fat Quarterly Retreat in London and discovering that I was just about the only person without a blog.  I had always been a bit wary of sharing too much online, and so I had just avoided having a blog altogether.  After chatting to many lovely ladies at the Retreat, I realised that you can have a blog and share one aspect of your life whilst keeping the rest of it offline.  So here I am!

This then led to me joining the London Modern Quilting Guild, which formed in February this year but which is already a lively and diverse group with lots of happy stitchy chat.

Now, where is my list of questions?  Here we go...

(1) How long have you been quilting?
I bought a quilt kit whilst on honeymoon in 2004, purely because I thought it was pretty in the shop.  My choice of kit clearly demonstrates that I had no clue as to what constitutes a nice beginner's quilt and what might turn out to be a little more challenging:
I only actually started piecing this quilt in 2008, partly because I was more of an embroiderer beforehand, partly because I didn't know where to start, and partly because our first child appeared in 2006, putting an abrupt stop to any crafting for a while.

(2) Favourite quilting tip
Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilts mentioned using starch on fabric before you cut it, so that any shrinkage it causes is done before the cutting stage.  I think starched fabric is so much easier to handle and is less liable to be pulled out of shape.  I pick up this starch at CostCo and it is cheap as chips but makes a big difference to my piecing.
(3) Favourite blogging tip
Leave comments, and reply to comments you receive.  It doesn't take long to write a quick but happy reply, but it makes the world a much happier place :)  And I have made some lovely friendships that have had their beginnings on comments on blogs.

(4) Favourite fabric
There really are too many to list ... but past favourites have been Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket  (WHY did I not buy this when it was out...?) ; Curio by BasicGrey (see this post where I got hold of some layer cakes at the last minute) ; Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt ... I could go on ... and on ...

(5) Favourite craft book
I love Schnibbles Times Two by Carrie Nelson ... excellent for pre-cuts and nice clear instructions.
(6) Favourite books
I love reading and generally I like books that are thoughtfully written and that either make me laugh occasionally or make me think "that's very clever".  My favourite books are those that manage to do both!  I love these books:
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

This post is already getting very long, and I am in danger of sending readers to sleep, so I will sign off very soon ... but not before a little

I have bought a brand spanking new copy of Mollie Makes Christmas, from the fine folks who publish the lovely crafty magazine Mollie Makes:
...which includes lots of lovely projects like this one:
All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave me a comment about anything you like!  I will pick a winner at 8pm on Monday 12 November.

Gertie x


  1. So glad that you started blogging after the FQR. I like popping in and seeing your lovely makes. Di x

  2. I'm really glad you went to the FQR and joined the LMQG. I don't comment enough on blogs really, but life gets in the way sometimes.

  3. Great post! Love those stockings and your blogging tips are so true!!

  4. I'm off to the FQR next year and I'm blogless. Perhaps I better start thinking about changing that before next summer.

  5. Your stockings are cute and your instructions are easy to follow - thank you. Great giveaway you're having and I thank you for the chance to win this book.

  6. Great post! Did you notice that all your favourite fabrics begin with the letter 'c'!!
    Great giveaway - count me in please!

  7. I'm so glad I'm one of the people who met you through commenting on blogs Gertie, loving your post and finding out more about you :)

  8. Woo hoo for FQR and LMQG - otherwise we would have never met and that would be :( x

  9. Lovely to meet you! Your little stockings are so cute :) thanks for the giveaway - I just picked up one of their magazines while I was on holiday this summer! (I'm having a giveaway too this week if you want to check it out:

  10. So nice to learn more about you Gertie. I love your blogging advice.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Sure was nice getting to know you and I love your choices in fabric!

  12. Nice to get to know you better Gertie. Had to laugh at the ambition of your first quilt kit!

  13. I like your blogging tip! And your book choices!

  14. I'm so glad I've found your blog.

    Marooned in the ar$e end of nowhere in very rural France, I'm a lone voice in a quilting desert, I need all the help I can get.

    Brilliant idea about starch, I'm gonna give it a go.


  15. Hello Gertie, I enjoyed visiting today. A day late. I just returned home from a week away. I did get to go to the International Quilt Festival-Houston while my WDH was working in town last week and the last two days. This will be my 3rd year attending and I had a chance to take a few classes. One of my favorite things to do and happy that I got to go and indulge on myself. Early Christmas gift to my self. Wonderful time, but love to spend time with family the most. Thank you for sharing your tutorial and look forward to visiting again. I am a new follower. Judith, Texas

  16. Hi Gertie-I loved that stained glass quilt. Beautiful. I use starch as well and it does wonders. Nice to meet you on the blog hop.

  17. Hello, I wanted to stop by and say hello and welcome to blogland! Some of your favourite books are my favourites too, especially a Thousand Splendid Suns.

    Please don't enter me into the giveaway though, I LOATHE Mollie Makes!

  18. Hi Gertie, nice to get to know you via the blog hop! What a cute name. I've read and liked some of the books on your list (A Fine Balance - unforgettable) so I'll have to check out some of the others.

  19. Nice to get to know you Gertie! I love your stained glass quilt :D

  20. Great post :) I love the approach of diving right into something, heedless of the difficulty level. It's always fun to have a bit of a challenge!

    Love the mini stockings! Very sweet!

  21. Love your stained glass quilt! I love Circa 1934, also. I only had a jelly roll and used every bit of it.

  22. I'm a fan of Circa 1934 and pretty much anything else by Cosmo Cricket! Lovely to meet you!

  23. Just made it here in time.
    I loved getting to know you a bit more through your answers.
    The pre-cuts book looks fab.

  24. I just started using spray starch for tricky projects, and wow! Huge difference! It's lovely to meet you!

  25. I love your little stocking decorations!
    The Fat Quarterly Retreat was amazing and I wish their was a modern guild near me.
    thanks for the giveaway :)

  26. This is the first time I've visited your blog and I loved reading about you. You have great choice in fabrics, quilt books and fiction! Thanks for the introduction.
    Debbie R.

  27. Are you FQR next year too ? I'm so jealous you get to go to the modern guilt, wish we had them here, its all old people patchwork lol

  28. How fun getting to know you. Thanks for the giveway