Let’s Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop 2013

So now it’s my turn, welcome to the land of Cloud Coucou!!

Wow! Who’d have thought a few months ago that I’d be involved in something like this…certainly not me!  Before I start I really must say a big thank you to Beth for organising the whole hop, link ups like these have been a massive motivator for me and it’s great to meet so many supportive people, so thanks Beth!!

Right, first an awkward photo!

nice to meet you

Now time to answer some of the questions I often ask myself.

Who am I?

Well, what can I tell you about myself…..I’m Amy and I live in Wales with my boyfriend, our daughter (little O) and her furry sister Suki YumYum. I work for a charity by day and do crafty stuff by night.

dad and little OHow did you get started?

Years ago I studied art and then film/art/design history, but have never really done anything with it. However, over the past couple of years I’ve been trying out various crafts and was drawn into quilting Christmas last year when I stumbled across a kit. I took the plunge, ordered it and set about making my first quilt. This was the result:

my first quilt

My daughter wasn’t amazingly impressed with it….it was no match for Crystal Cat…….but I was and the quilting obsession pretty much went from there starting with cushions……..

chevron cushion

It’s some kind of fluke that so many of the points are intact in this one as I did not know a thing about cutting and piecing when I made it. I think if it had gone horribly wrong that may have been the end of my quilting interest, but it was obviously meant to be!!

Why did you start blogging?

I set up the blog to keep myself motivated and as a record of my progress… little did I realise that there was a whole new world out there. I truly can’t believe the amount of great people I’ve met and I really think that has kept me going.

I wish I could show you a pile of quilts here, but hey it’s early days!

PicMonkey Collage

1. 241 tote 2. kokka stamped wash bag 3. make up bag 4. patchwork cushion
5. embroidered felt 6. market day bag 7. quilted trivet

If you have a browse of my blog you’ll see that my work is not just quilting…I like to mix things up a little to prevent boredom from kicking in….so I add some felting, embroidery, sewing etc. My aim is to start combining these elements in future projects to create less structured more relaxed I suppose quirky items. We’ll see how that goes!!

So what about the name?

It was super hard to pick a name and I came up with like a million suggestions, but Cloud CouCou seemed to reflect what I’m about – clashing colours, patterns, texture and the slightly surreal. Many people would also say I have my head in the clouds!

machine embroidery

I am heavily influenced by travel, landscapes, architecture and generally the stuff that surrounds us. For me although we are so often drawn to the great and the grand it is more often the details that count. I want to highlight those details to create new worlds through fabric – a cloud coucou land.

This rather sketchy sketch reflects the beginnings of one such world!

sketch - mountain

What have you been up to recently?

Most recently I have finished what I call my first ‘proper’ quilt. Proper because I made it completely from scratch. Although there were many hurdles I got there in the end and now I get to snuggle in my very own  Bloom Bloom Pow.

bloom bloom pow finished

At the moment I’m working on a few things, the City Sampler sew along being one and a new Quilting Bee being another, this is where I’m up to with that…

Strip Bees - middle blocks 2

…check back later to see the finished strip!

Questions for you!

As a new blogger there are a few things I struggle with so any help would be really appreciated.

  • How do you cut a long piece of fabric (like the one above) and keep it straight?
  • What’s the best way to tackle bulky seams?
  • What should I do when my bobbin gets low on thread? I tend to find my tension goes a bit funny when the thread is low, but there’s still enough left to keep sewing so I don’t want to waste it. Also sometimes my needle picks up the other end of the bobbin thread that was tucked away before…any tips?

So that’s it from me, if that wasn’t enough info about me you can read some random facts about me here and here.

Here’s the full blog hop list, go and check out some of the other posts….

Friday, June 7th

Amy @ 13 Spools
Casey @ The Studiolo
June 14
Julie @ Jolie Maxtin
Adrianne @ On The Windy Side
Valerie @ Between Quilts
Friday, June 21
Leigh Anne @ Ella’s Cottage
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym
Friday, June 28
Green @ So Sew Green
Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling
Friday, July 5
Christa @ Christa Quilts!
Stephanie @ Quarter Incher
 July 12
Anne @ PlayCrafts
Christen @ Love by Hand
Julie @ 627handworks
July 19
Aylin @ AyliN-Nilya
Kelsey and Amanda @ Everyday Fray
July 26
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa Lea @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boon Docks
Emily @ Sew E.T.

Em @ Sewing by Moonlight

54 thoughts on “Let’s Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop 2013

  1. I don’t think I have an answer to any of your questions but I’ll be interested to read what others have to say. I enjoyed reading your post and learning about you and your blog name. Thanks for joining in!

  2. so wonderful to read more about you Amy!

    Here are the ways I deal with the things in your questions-
    * cutting long fabric- I fold it **meticulously** lengthwise then straighten the edge and cut!
    *bulky seams- I starch them and press them within an inch of their life and it usually turns out okay.
    *low bobbin- yeah, I hate when a low bobbin messes with my tension. when that happens, I switch bobbins and use the remainder of that one for piecing, since the tension really only messes up during FMQ.

    Hope this helps!!

    🙂 Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  3. Lovely post! I’m with you- it’s early days, so I don’t have a pile of quilts to show off just yet. But your projects are all fantastic!

    Cutting long fabric- generally I fold it if it’s longer than my ruler. I don’t know what else to do…

    I also have trouble with bulky seams. My machine just doesn’t have the torque 😦 If I have to, I’ll break out my old machine that’ll run through anything… but the foot pedal on that one is super touchy, so there’s more room for error in my seam allowance. So that’s really a last resort.

    I haven’t had much problem with a low bobbin messing with my tension. Sorry I’m not too helpful!

    It was great to meet you!!

  4. Love bloom bloom pow. For bulky seam I would change needle size (I have a post on this hopefully coming on Sunday). I am still rubbish at long strip of fabrics, I tend to iron the fabric, and fold it, iron it again – until it is manageable … It is probably not the best technique, it sort of works.

  5. Amy, loved reading this post and learning more about you – even though I’ve already thoroughly enjoyed following your blog 🙂 I didn’t realize you had started so recently – you have made so many beautiful projects! I have no answers because they are my questions, too. haahahhahaa.I absolutely love that pillow – and can’t believe it was one of your first projects! Also, your quilted trivet is beautiful. Of course, you know I’m overly obsessed with your sampler blocks. Eeeeeek, can’t wait to see more of them!

  6. Great post!! You know I already love the bloom bloom pow 🙂 The pillow is so pretty:)
    Not sure what the problem is with your machine and low bobbin thread–maybe take it in for a tune up and ask. On cutting a long piece of fabric–I just had to do that for the first time–I just folded it WELL and made sure it was super square before I cut. I didn’t seem to have a problem.
    I do have a tip on buky seems (just what works for me) sometimes I start near the middle and stitch to the end, then start in the middle again and go to the other end. I’ve done that with some paper pieced patterns. Hope that helps 🙂

  7. You’ve done some fabulous work for someone so new to quilting. I love what you’re doing with the bee strip. I’m afraid I haven’t any answers for your questions but it looks like you’ve been getting some great advice already.

  8. Your projects are lovely!!! I wish I had a suggestion about the bobbin for you but I am very lucky to have a machine that does not behave in that manner. I hate wasting the end of the thread, though, so I understand wanting to get that resolved.

    When I am cutting a long piece of fabric, such as a table runner, I tend to square off the shortest end first, which gives me a straight edge to line up the short end of my ruler with (I’m sorry, so hard to put into words). Then I just trim it as far as my ruler goes, slide the whole works toward me and line up the ruler edge about 6″ or so on the part I just trimmed and the rest extending on to the yet untrimmed edge. Oh my, that would be so much better with pictures!

    I try to press my seams open as much as possible which helps reduce bulk. There are a few techniques out there for trimming seam allowances and such when making flying geese blocks or pinwheels – I have found them in books by Eleanor Burns’ but there must be some online sources/videos for the same info – that might help!

    Lovely to meet you and visit your blog!

  9. As you know, I love your work with details and texture. (Your blog header image gets me every. time. I am here.) I am loving how your bee strip is coming along! I can’t believe those are scraps! (only, I can–the best quilts are always scrap quilts.) I’m so glad to have met you!

    • And that is a great photo of you. That cowl! More photos of quilters! I almost think we should all have had to post a photo of ourselves in our LGA post. I’m glad you did!

  10. A lovely post! and well done on using organic cotton on your first quilt top! (yeah, I’m such a fabric nerd that I recognised it). You have made amazing progress in such a short space of time – love your chevron cushion. I fold my fabric when it’s too long, and just pin lots and sew slowly on bulky seams. I don’t seem to have much of a problem with the end of the bobbin. Strip Bee is looking wonderful. it’s going to be so much fun to watch their progression.

  11. Sew glad to ‘meet’ you in the hop, Amy. Thanks for sharing your works and giving us a little insight into who you are. Your chevron pillow is my favourite! I think it’s great that you are into sew many crafty things. Keeps it interesting!

  12. Great blog Amy! Don’t fret over not haing a pile of quilts to show off. To make myself feel better about the same thing I constantly remind myself that quilting is a ‘Slow’ Craft, and one where time and effort and love need to be put in, not just something quick to be chugged out!

  13. You have a beautiful blog, I’m now following you. I do have a tip for what I do with the last bit of thread on a bobbin. I set those aside and use them for when I sew the binding onto the front of the quilt. I don’t have the same issue with tension, so that may not help if the tension is bad enough that it wouldn’t secure the binding, but since these stitches aren’t seen this is a great way to use up the thread left at the end of the bobbin.

  14. Nice to meet you Amy, I love the Bloom Bloom Pow. I wanted to do it but ran out of time and signed up for too many other things. Yours looks brilliant.

  15. So nice to read your post.
    As for long strip cutting: I iron the heck out of the fabric (starch, too). Then I fold matching the selveges and fold again (and again, until I can fit it onto my tiny cutting mat) then I use a brand new blade in my rotary cutter and slice.
    Bulky seams, you ask? I use steam and press like mad. If you can press pieces in the opposite direction and then nest the seams before you sew – that helps. But sometimes that’s not possible – like with paper pieced things.

    Your Bloom Bloom Pow quilt is brilliant! I look forward to seeing more of your work and I’m a new follower on bloglovin.

  16. Hi again Amy. I just wanted to say that in this post I can really see a whole design/colour sense that has your stamp on it. I’m still struggling to define a style that is identifiably “me”, so I’m quite envious! When I trim something long, folding never works for me so I put my (longish) cutting mat on the floor under the edge of the quilt and slide it along trimming as I go. Usually I just eyeball it, but sometimes I mark a line first with a long ruler. The lines on the mat help.

  17. So many pretty projects! I love hearing how people come to quilting-at some point it seems the story is always I made a quilt and then couldn’t stop! That’s how it was for me too 🙂

  18. Hi there. so nice to meet you. I am going to do a tutorial on cutting straight lines using ruler lines instead of mat lines. Flip the mat over. It will make more sense if I can show photos. Hope to have it done in a couple weeks. Love your projects!

  19. Great blog. To cut up a long piece of fabric I fold it so that the center of the fabric is lined up correctly and then trim the edges. You have to be careful to cut in a straight line else you can land up with uneven wedges.

  20. HA! I love that you started with an awkward photo. Awesome. To answer your strip-cutting question, have you tried rotary cutting with an extra-long ruler? (36″?)

  21. Your blog is lovely! And congratulations on a beautiful first quilt finish! I love working on small projects as well. It’s great to learn new skills with a sense of accomplishment on a small scale. Excellent questions…I’ll be reading what others have to say! Cutting long pieces has been a challenge for me as well.

  22. Love your Bloom Bloom Pow quilt, it’s beautiful. That pattern is on my to-do list. All your projects look great. My hat’s off to you and those who blog, I don’t know how you guys do it all! I’m glad you do though as I love reading them all. In answer to your questions (1) when cutting a long piece of fabric, I’ve done it a few ways. Being very careful I’ve folded and cut. I’ve also lined up my fabric and marked everything and slid my ruler along as I cut. (2) Depending on where my seams are, I spray starch and iron open. Another thing I do is “cut” in the seam allowance where seams come together, twist and it makes a mini four patch. I’m not sure what it’s called but your stitching lines are not cut, it just helps them to lie flatter. Would ask around if someone can show you or maybe it’s on You-Tube. I also iron each step as I go. Sometimes I use a phone book or anything heavy to lay on top of what I’ve ironed. I let it set for a minute or so till it cools alittle. This has helped my seams and my block to lie flatter. (3) When a low bobbin is giving me trouble I put it with my hand piecing and use it that way. Thread is expensive so know what you mean about not wasting it. Hope you were able to understand what I was trying to say. It’s much easier when you can see my hands, hehe. Great post and it’s wonderful to find a new blog to follow!


  23. Hi ,great to meet you.
    I cut Long fabrics with my 24 Inch ruler and only move it 5-8 Inch further.
    When I see. that the bobin get´s empty and my tense isn´t good I really throw the rest away and waste it – not tip from me here, sorry.

  24. Hi Amy, great blog hop post! I really like your cushion cover, it was obviously meant to be! I don’t know about the end of the thread on the bobbin, but would agree with others on cutting the material while folded. I did a class and that’s what we were shown to do. Looking forward to seeing more quilts and other adventures! Jenny @ Note to Follow Sew

  25. Aww this is a nice post! Let’s see – I don’t know if rules are different for quilting but I tear long fabrics I want straight – I notice some people said cutting it while folded but I find that difficult.
    For thread at the end of a bobbin – I stash it away for hand sewing. Not ideal, so i’d love to see what other people do for it…
    I trim down bulky seams as close as possible, but if you mean sewing them in the first place i’d also love to know! My machine has trouble feeding thick layers :(.

  26. Love your Bloom Bloom Pow! I think your first quilt is pretty darn amazing! My grandmother was a tear-er for straight cuts too, but it freaks me out:) So I just fold and use a ruler with rubber grips so nothing slips around. Bulky seams…I usually press to the dark side, but will press them open if too bulky. Don’t really have the bobbin problem. Just make sure they are wound even and tightly. Great post! See ya soon.

  27. Love your Bloom Bloom Pow!! What sewing machine do you use? My bobbin does the same thing, where it loses a bit of tension towards the end. I’m not sure if it’s something that happens during winding, or if it’s just the machine itself when it’s low…it seems like it doesn’t happen every single time, though. Wish I could help more…it’s been frustrating me so much!

  28. I see someone has already shared my suggestion but in case someone misses it, I would change the bobbin if its giving you tension issues and use that last bit of thread for sewing binding or closing bag linings, any bit of hand stitching really.

  29. Coming over from the Blog Hop! I know I’ve been here before 🙂 Love your work and look forward to seeing more.

  30. The colors of your bloom bloom pow quilt are gorgeous and I love how you quilted it, beautiful:) For bulky seams, lots of pressing and pining. Sorry I can’t be more help, I’m still a new quilter too!

  31. I love that you did a mix of many crafts. I’m often the same way. I like to be busy and have a few different options on my WiP list so if I feel like sitting I can sew, and if I feel like curling up on the couch I can knit/stitch etc. Your Boom Boom Pow is lovely 🙂 That’s a very fantastic finish for a new quilter!

  32. You work is beautiful and unique–so glad I found you through this hop! I love your embroidered and felted pieces. Can’t wait to see what you make in the future!

  33. Hi Amy, I love your blog, and the ‘textile artist’ in you is amazing, so talented. Anyway,….. its lovely to meet you and I really like your work. How are you finding the City Sampler – I’m thinking of joining in the SAL, I know I’m late coming to the party, I wrote a review on the book a few weeks back – I love it! Now for me to be extra nosey, where in North Wales are you? I spent all my childhood holidays on Anglesey and we’re going back again this summer. Sarah x

  34. I’m such a new quilter too so I can’t answer any of your questions, but thanks for posting them because I will definitely read through the replies. Your bloom bloom pow quilt looks awesome, and I’m impressed with your beginner points 🙂

  35. Lovely to meet you – you are quite accomplished for just getting started! My machine has the same issues with low bobbins. I usually just pop in a full one and set the almost empty aside. When I’m working on a project that’s not using a ton of thread in one stretch, I’ll actually load that bobbin up on top instead of a full spool of thread and use it up that way 🙂

  36. I love your Bloom Bloom Pow! To square up quilts, which are like your long strip, I have a giant cutting mat (36×24 I think) and use the 24″ long acrylic ruler to line everything up, cut, readjust the quilt to get to a fresh area, and repeat. It takes time and I’m lucky to have such a large mat, but it’s so helpful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s