The Great British Quilter challenge - you've probably heard about it before...
...but if not. Let me tell you a little more about it. Are you ready...? It all began in 2017 as an Instagram challenge and now, five years later, quilters and makers from all over the world have joined the movement! Sharing their love for quilting and handmade using the #greatbritishquilter on Instagram.
And *drum rolls* please... this year, I have the honour to co-host the event together with my sweet friend Sarah Ashford. Sarah is not only a successful designer in her own right, but also the mastermind behind the Great British Quilter since it all started in 2017.
How does it all work?
The yearly Great British Quilter event is a week-long challenge hosted live on Instagram. All tied together by the same hashtag - the #greatbritishquilter on IG.
During the week, there will be daily prompts (such as sewing space, organisation, best quilt you've ever made, favourite makes and notions...) and we'd like to invite you to join us, sharing your take on each topic. And it's as easy as that. Just post a picture on Instagram, add the #greatbritishquilter in your caption and tag Sarah and me - so we can see your post! Share one picture per prompt or multiples, totally up to you! And if you have to skip a day because of... life... just join us the next day again.
And even if you can't take part live. No worries at all. Just head over to Instagram and have a scroll through the #greatbritishquilter. It's so nice to have a peek into everyones behind the scenes - you might be lucky to get a sneak peek into your favourite makers sewing space! And of course - you're more than welcome to post throughout the year as well (again, don't forget to use the relevant hashtag!).
Who can take part?
Everyone can take part! Whether you are located in Great Britain or living in the rest of the world and Britain has a special place in your heart. We would love to have you!
And this is what we have planned for you
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
- Monday: Introductions
- Tuesday: Sewing Space
- Wednesday: Current WIP
- Thursday: Sewing Organisation
- Friday: Favourite Quick Make
- Saturday: Favourite Notions
- Sunday: Best Quilt Ever + Giveaway
We would love to see you and your sewing space. What you're currently working on, the organisation of your sewing space, your favourite quick make and notions. And finally we would love to see your best quilt ever! The quilt you are most proud of...
Ohh... I am getting super excited to get a peek behind the scenes with you! I especially love to see your sewing space and how you've organised yourself. Yay!
A little treat for you!
And as we are celebrating everything quilty and handmade - Sarah and I thought it would fun to share the love with everyone.
Starting today until the last day of the event - please feel free to use the Code GBQ20 for 20% off of all digital patterns in my shop as well as on Sarah's website. Because handmade and especially gifting handmade is the best! Don't you agree...?
Can't wait to get started now and I really hope you'll join me! As I've said, I would love to see more from you...
I will be posting my progress here over the next couple days as well. Keeping it all in one place.
Day 1 - Introduction
Hello! I am Laura - sewing pattern designer for beginners, mom of two, originally from Germany but now living in Scotland and your co-host for the Great British Quilter challenge.
In 2012 I got my first sewing machine (for just under £100 of Amazon) and back then I had no idea what to do with it. I literally didn’t even know how to turn her on - not even speaking of sewing a straight line. But with a little determination and the help of my trusted seam ripper, I fell in love with sewing and quilting. Very much the best hobby in the world. Years later here I am…now working with Janome, Aurifil and Windham but most important with YOU! Teaching you how to create with confidence is my true calling. Genuinely - I love it!
When I am not sewing I love exploring the rich Whiskey community where we live, here in the North East of Scotland. Visiting old and newer local distilleries. The passion people have for Whiskey is extraordinary and very inspiring. And I love to try a good Whiskey as well (not too smokey for me, please)…
If you fancy reading more about the story behind Sweet Cinnamon Roses please head over here to my about page.
Day 2 - Sewing Space
We live in a small seaside town in the North East of Scotland - more precisely in a wee cottage (which by nature is quite dark). And with small, I mean really, really small. Fun fact: my first flat as a student in Berlin was bigger in square footage than our house right now with two small kids…
But I loooove it. This is my little corner of our bedroom. Including a homemade design wall, fairy lights, my daughters art work and of course my brand new Janome M7 (dang I was so scared she wouldn’t fit on the table, therefore wouldn’t fit our house… but thankfully we made it work). And you know what, I wouldn’t want it any other way… Unless we get a house with a big garden, then I would love to own an outside studio (girl gotta dream).
Day 3 - Current Work In Progress (WIP)
As you might know, I have a loooong list of WIPs and UFOs. But this one is my most current one - the Suncatcher Stars Quilt by my lovely and super talented friend Lou Orth. I am literally working on in right now and I am so in love with this block. Can’t wait to see the whole quilt come together…
Scrappy, pink and green prints by Heather Ross and Lou’s perfect design. Definitely what my dreams are made of... if you'd asked me!
Fancy reading more about this quilt and why I love it so much - head over here for all the details!
Day 4 - Organisation
This is my most favourite prompt of them all. I love to have it all organised. Well - it has to be tidy around me when I am working. Meaning I don't want to stuff lying around and everything I'll need has to be in reach...
All my notions (like marking pens, pins, thimbles, scissors and a variety of glitter for all the Glitta Pouches) and of course my collection of Aurifil 12wt has to be just there. I like them be tidy and easy to reach for. While my work table is clean enough... Helping to get into my zen mode. Hope that makes sense...!?
But let's be real - what I don't see, doesn't have to be super neat!
Remember, I live in a very very small cottage and we really don't have much space (at all). So I had to be creative in terms of fabric storage. I convinced my husband to get a bed with huge storage space underneath (I never cared about the look of the bed - the storage was what counted to me) and that's where my fabric lives. All neatly sealed in freezer bags as I am also mortified we would ever get moths and they are nagging at my fabric without me noticing. Everyone's nightmare... Right?
Ohhh... and then there is my bedside table. No jewellery or anything of interest for any thief - just all my most treasured prints by Heather Ross.
Day 5 - Favourite Quick Make
Quilty WIPs (Work in Progress) and UFOs (Unfinished Objects) are a thing in the quilty sphere! Remember the post from day 3? Every quilter gets it... quilts can take ages. Literally. I am afraid...
And sometimes when it feels hard to work on a 6yo project, it's nice to have a quick make in between. Something that you can finish within one sitting. You get that too, right?
A satisfying little make that you can squeeze in, that gives you instant gratification. For me that is the Zip Around Pouch by my friend Elisabeth Woo.
It's the cutest little zipper pouch, totally scrap-friendly, made within a couple hours and best of all - you can custom quilt the outside panels!!! And there is binding. Like quilty binding involved... Y-A-Y!
This pouch is a dream! It's such a satisfying make and with a little bit of patience (you have to go real slow at times) - this pouch is even suitable for newbies at bag making! If you are a little intimidated though, please don't worry. I have a full blog post on all my tips, tricks and shortcuts. I even included my fave materials to use for the Zip Around Pouch! You're very welcome, my friend...
Day 6 - Favourite Notions
Ohhh... that's a great prompt. I love sewing and quilty notions - like all of them.
From the bottom of my quilty heart, I believe that there's no such thing as too many notions. You can never have enough... from thimbles to pins, needles, thread and markers and all the rulers and cutting tools. Don't you agree?
These must be my favourite ones for hand quilting - thimbles, needles, needle threader, Hera marker and of course all the Aurifil thread. If you like to know more why exactly these ones - please hop over here. I tell you exactly why I think they are the best (everrrr).
But let's not forget about the best notion ever - NETFLIX!
I love, love, loooove watching Netflix while sewing and quilting. Seriously binge-watching all the shows while cutting, sewing and pressing and wouldn't change it for the world. Nothing too complicated that needs proper attention but there are so many great shows out there - just perfect for Netflix and Sew!
Speaking of though - I am sure at one point through the pandemic I was sure to be close to finishing Netlix. Nothing new got made and I felt I've seen them all... *whooopsie*
Day 7 - Best Quilt Ever
Maybe not the most intricate quilt out there but this one is definitely my favourite quilter everrrr! It’s the Wrap them in Fairytales one and a super simple patchwork quilt (no pattern needed, just all the good fabric).
Let me tell you about it a little. Every night when I tuck in my kids, using their wrap them in fairytales quilts… I tell them that their quilt will keep them safe through the night, protecting them from nightmares and sad thoughts. Because every stitch it took me making those quilts, I made while I was thinking of them. And when I have to leave them for the night, my love and their quilts will keep them safe until we can cuddle again in the morning. ME and MY KIDS - we know they work. Every. Single. Night.
You get that, right? And this is what makes every quilt special but for me, it’s all in this one.
If you are new to quilting or want to learn the basics, want to make a Wrap them in fairytales quilt yourself - I have a FREE Facebook group that you can join. There you can find all the video tutorials and me slowly walking you through every single step.
And that's a wrap!
And finally I would like to thank you Sarah, for having me co-host the Great British Quilter event alongside you. It will be so much fun and as you know, I love working with you. And a special thanks goes out to Sew Hot UK - one of our amazing sponsors and my absolute go-to place for all things quilting and bag making in the UK. And of course a huge thank you to Today's Quilter for sponsoring the event this year!
Happy Quilting, my friend!
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