16 February 2015

Moda Building Blocks Quilt Update

Hello friends! I wanted to drop by today and give you an update on my Moda Modern Building Blocks Quilt. I'm 11 blocks in, and I think I'm getting the tough one's done first (I hope so, anyway!) those first two GIANT blocks were a little tricky to say the least! 


It's so fun piecing them together now the cutting is done - I did the cutting all in one go (and pulled a muscle in the process, eek!) over a few evenings. Phew! I'm really trying to take my time over each block to make sure they are as accurate as possible. I'm OK for the most part? Though I'm a little worried block 1 is slightly too small… 


I'm making them in order, from 1 - 48, but I'm looking forward to getting some sections joined! I discovered Patty from Walnut Street Quilts blog while making the quilt; she's been sewing the blocks and providing some handy tips along the way. I found the information on block 1 invaluable with those oh so joyful 'floating seams' ;-) 

I'm using all Kona Solids available from Sew and Quilt. Following the colour's of the original closely, and substituting a few here and there. They're mostly from the 1930's Kona palette, so I'm hoping it will be a pretty result. We have a handful of the patterns left in stock too! Also, have you SEEN Sherri's version from A Quilting Life!? I'm completely head over heels in love with her red and white MBB quilt. I really toyed with the idea of doing the same, but I didn't think I had enough red prints in my stash? Wait, who am I kidding, I do … but I just decided to go the colourful route instead. Perhaps there will be a red and white one in my future. 

Apologies for my dull pictures, I've had my big camera in the mender's since Christmas! They're apparently waiting on a part but it's taking months! Hence my lack of blogging, which I've missed so much and it's really got me down. But, I figured blogging with iPhone pictures is better than no blogging at all, right? I've been doing a lot of sewing which I haven't posted about here so I'm looking forward to sharing, if you can put up with my pictures that is! :-) Speak soon! xo

15 February 2015

Snapshots Quilt Along - Block 2: Sew On & Sew On



Welcome to month two of the Fat Quarter Shop, Snapshots quilt-a-long! The QAL is benefiting St Jude's Childrens Hospital, so FQS are asking quilter's for a small donation for each monthly block. This month it's this super fun sewing machine block! So fun! You can find this new block available here

The finished block measure up at 12" x 16" so it's a great size to use as a decorative mini quilt for your sewing room! (which I'm quite tempted to do!) I based the purple and grey colour's on my own Janome machine :-) I actually used a patterned white fabric for the main section of the machine initially, but it didn't stand out very well with the Kona Snow backing so I un-picked it all and started again with the checked blue fabric. Much better! "If at first we don't succeed, try, try again". 


And here's my first block! 'Let Them Eat Cake', which I didn't get round to sharing on the blog last month. Yummy, yummy! These are fun to make, I hope you can join in too. Please find all the details on the FQS blog here. Be sure to stop by the other bloggers to see their finished blocks this month too! :-) 

Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
Bonnie Olaveson of Cotton Way
Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting
Thelma Childers of Cupcakes N' Daisies
Pam Viera-McGinnis of Pam Kitty Morning
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Stephanie Kendron of The Modern Sewciety
Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
Greg Jones of Grey Dogwood Studios
Jessie Fincham of Messy Jesse

Also, talking of the Fat Quarter Shop - guess what … I have my very own Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle!! I'm so honoured! It's brand new for the month of February and it's available now. Of course I might be a little bit biased, but its a brilliant collection! What do you think? There's one (possibly two ;-) look out for a giveaway soon!) currently winging it's way across the atlantic and I'm so excited to receive it! You can purchase your own bundle here. Enjoy! 

26 January 2015

Press // Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 17 / British Patchwork & Quilting

I'm delighted to stop by today with some recent editorial work I've done for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine - with a English Paper Piecing theme so do read on if you're into that, and British Patchwork & Quilting, similar in title name but very different in style. 

In case you don't follow me on Instagram (@messyjesse1) you might have missed my announcement, that several months ago I was asked to contribute a whole booklet of English Paper Piecing projects for their January 2015 issue! Using… wait for it … diamond EPP shapes! Yayy, my favourite EPP shape of all! i should mention the issue includes a free pack of mixed paper pieces in 1", 2" and 3" sizes, so you can get making right away and if you're impatient like me that's ideal. 

The projects are all based on a sewing kit theme, so pincushions, needle-cases etc. Double the fun, as I love making things for my sewing room. It was such a honour to be asked, LP&Q magazine really is my top of the picks in the industry. They do such brilliant work, as I know I've mentioned here before and regularly highlight British quilters like myself so it's a win win.


And here it is! My own little cover-booklet! Gosh this was a proud moment when I eagerly ripped off the plastic wrapping and opened it for the first time, to see my face in print staring back at me! OK, so just to warn you… I may have taken a lot of photo's, of course, just to give you the whole picture ;-) 

Notice how I managed to get my new shiny wedding ring in a lot of these pictures, ha! :-)
First up the sewing machine cover. I knew I wanted to do this design straight off the batt, so eager I was to get started on this, I realised I was making up the hexagon/star blocks in the wrong size, doh! Note the photo below - they made for some great props though! Once I got back on the right foot using the 2" size diamonds I was well underway, and after a lot of head scratchy moments I figured out a way to make it 3D to fit over a sewing machine, and not loose the continuos design. Phew!


The EPP sewing kit! Again this, and all the other projects in the book came to me pretty quick. I think having a clear brief, with a set theme, colour palette and using only diamonds really helped me keep on track and I felt much more confident to come up with fun ideas, while still stretching my creativity.

I absolutely loved the colour palette they suggested too, I would never think to put these colour's together but they work so well and even though they are a departure from my normal comfort zone of colour's, each piece has a distinctive Messy Jesse stamp on, I think.


Oh the needle-case! I love this one so much. I'm going to have to show you this in more detail on another post as I didn't take any photo's of the real thing. This little thing folds up, and then opens out to a complete circle. I wanted to showcase those big 3" diamonds some way, and I think this needle-book was just the ticket. 


My other exciting news to share is this 'interview with a quilter' interview in British Patchwork & Quilting magazine! This is the December 2014 issue just gone, so unfortunately it won't be that easy to get a copy of anymore. I was initially contacted by Sheilah last Spring I think, after requesting some information on reproduction fabrics I stock at Sew and Quilt - for an article she was working on about vintage feedsacks. After a little email exchange an offer for an a Q&A in an upcoming issue came about, of course I said yes! So Sheilah very kindly took a 5 hour + train ride all the way down to Penzance to meet me! She was just lovely, and we hit it off straight away talking about our love of fabric and vintage feedsacks. 

She even gifted me a beautiful handmade rug-mug that I use in my sewing room now, and floral tea cup. And if that wasn't thoughtful enough she even sent me some feedsack scraps she had left over from her article! 


I'm so pleased with the article, and I'm so honoured to be featured in such a prestigious magazine. Thank you for such a great opportunity again Sheilah. 

14 January 2015

Sewing To Sell Book - How To Sell Locally & Online

Hello, long time no speak! I seemed to have an unexpected blog break over the Christmas and New year period, but I'm back today to share Sewing To Sell book by the lovely Virginia Lindsey, who you may know as the creator of Gingercake Patterns. This book is an all inclusive guide on how to start and successfully run a craft business. Making the leap from personal hobby sewing to professional sewing can be quite intimidating, but Virginia's book aims to give you all the resources you need to begin on the right foot. 


This is the sort of book I could have really used back when I was running my Etsy shop a few years ago! It tackles all those nitty gritty topics like pricing, materials and our least favourite issue; time - and how to price for it. As well as business basics like promotion, selling, inventory and tax issues (though I should point out this would be specific to the U.S.). There are some great tips for photographing your products and selling at craft shows with a checklist of tasks to complete before leading up to a show. 

If you're not thinking of setting up a sewing business the book is still a great resource for your library. It includes 16 sewing projects that are all practical and useful things to sew, they are great starter projects for new sewers or a blank slate for more experienced sewer's to add their own creative touch to. Like Vanessa from lbw studio has done with her fantastic version of this organiser. It's perfect for jotting down your new year sewing goals and keeping you motivated. I need to make one for myself, now. 

Practical and straight-forward advice from a passionate sewer, with beautiful projects to remind me sometimes smaller, simple projects are just what's needed! Sounds like a great book to me, good job Virginia!

You can purchase the book here, direct from C&T Publishing; either a hard copy or e-book version. Be sure to check out the rest of the blog book tour.

17 December 2014

Snapshots Quilt Along With Fat Quarter Shop!

Next month I'll be joining in a quilt-a-long with Fat Quarter Shop for a special cause! FQS are raising money in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Their aim is to advance cures and means of prevention for catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Each month FQS are releasing a free pattern to make up the quilt, they are encouraging everyone to join in the sewing fun and donate a suggested $5 for each pattern to help raise the funds. The good news is, Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics will match up to $10,000 of donations raised for this amazing cause!! 

So, these are the super fun blocks you'll be offered each month. Aren't they so cute! I'm especially excited about that sewing machine ;-) 

Yep. I need them all now. How about you? Below are us blogger's who are joining in. Be sure to follow our updates on Instagram too, with the hashtag #fqssnapshots 
Which block is your favourite? 
Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
Bonnie Olaveson of Cotton Way
Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting
Thelma Childers of Cupcakes N' Daisies
Pam Viera-McGinnis of Pam Kitty Morning
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Stephanie Kendron of The Modern Sewciety
Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
Greg Jones of Grey Dogwood Studios
Jessie Fincham of Messy Jesse

Find out all the details of the QAL including ordering quilt kits from Fat Quarter Shop on their official page here. Oh, and you have to watch the video too; Bonnie & Camille and Kimberly are the sweetest. So I'll be checking back on January 15th with my first block, the CAKE! Yumm, can't wait.

Naturally Nautical Quilt Finish!

I'm SO pleased to share a finish with you today! I've been itching to complete my Naturally Nautical quilt, but soon after I started making a few blocks a bunch of commissions piled up so sure enough, it dropped to the bottom of my to do list. I've had some free time recently so I've been beavering away with the quilting and managed to get it done and dusted a couple of weeks ago. I pulled it out at the weekend for a little photoshoot in Mousehole, a quaint little fishing village 3 miles from my house. 

A perfect location for such a seaside'y fun quilt! The day I visited was the same day they turn on their famous Christmas lights, which has become quite a popular event here over the years. You might spot the 'Mousehole Harbour Lights' sign in the photo above. The whole village lights up with pretty Christmas decorations, which everyone enjoys.

OK, back to the quilt. It finishes up 64" x 78", it almost ended up smaller when I finished the top and basted it only to realise I had forgotten to add the 4.5" borders! I wanted the boats to float on the quilt so I knew I had to go back and re-add them :-/ I added a border around my backing fabric too, in order to make up the difference. I used scrappy fabrics and it ended up making a nice feature for the back, but I forgot to photograph it, as my very helpful prop assistant was getting cold ;-)

I loooved the original version of this quilt (find the free pattern here) so I stayed close to the simple blue theme. I chose some great nautical fabrics I had on hand from Sew and Quilt, and even managed to fussy cut some ships in a few of the blocks! Also, this is my FIRST free-motion-quilted quilt! Wow, it was a slog... and a steep, steep learning curve but I got there in the end. I chose baptist fans to echo a wave'y style that would work well with the design. Plus baptist fans are pretty amazing, and work well on every quilt, I think. It's certainly not perfect, by any means! But I'm really pleased I managed to do it, as I'm one of those quilter's that moan "I can't FMQ" without ever giving it a proper go! ;-) I think we've all been there, yep? So if I can do it, anyone can. Really.

There's been some great quilter's quilting along with me, if you're on Instagram (I'm @messyjesse1) you can use follow using the hashtag #naturallynauticalquiltalong, there you can see some other fabulous nautical quilts! Don't forget to use the hashtag if you decide to join too, so I can find you :-) Hope you're all having a good week. xo