Wednesday, 6 December 2017

December One Monthly Goal

It's a bit hard to believe that we are almost at the end of the year. December is my favourite time of the year. December means more time with family, and lots of cause to celebrate (it's my birthday month). It's also usually the month that I start my Christmas sewing.

As a result of leaving it this late, I often don't finish my Christmas sewing and have a few unfinished projects that carry over to the next year. This year I'm going to try to not start any new projects and instead complete some of the projects I started last year. I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts December One Monthly Goal and setting myself a goal of completing a quilt I started last Christmas but didn't finish. Mostly because of big cutting boo boo, but also because I wasn't in love with my test block.

However, I adore this line (Jingle by Kate Spain) and want to try a Jacobs Ladder quilt, so I'm going to persevere. Hopefully some more careful fabric placement (rather than my usual random grab-n-sew approach) and replacing the white on white print will give a better result.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

November Bee Hive blocks

Just a quick post to share the blocks that I made our November queen, Mandy. Mandy requested the tic tac toe block in magenta, bright orange and chartreuse. This is going to be one vibrant quilt!

I'm also linking up with the Elm Street Quilts OMG link up as getting these done by the end of the month was my goal for November. I'm now officially up to date with my bee blocks!


A quilt for Geoff

Last month my big brother celebrated his birthday, and finished the last assessment of his degree. Naturally I made him a quilt :)

I wanted to keep it very masculine so I used a layer cake of Modern Background Ink and paired it with a Star Wars flannel for the back.

To make the top I cut some of the layer cake squares in half diagonally, made HSTs amd trimmed to 9.5" square. I trimmed the remaining squares to 9.5" and arranged them semi-randomly, trying to create a sort of ombre effect.

For the quilting I used a simple sharp stipple design (my current go-to FMQ all-over).

I took the finished quilt into the city for a quick photoshoot in Croft Alley. I thought the street art made the perfect backdrop for the graphic quilt.

I'm really happy with how it turned out, and how efficient it was - both in terms of time (it came together really quickly) and fabric use (I used all of the layer cake squares with very little wastage).  I'm feeling inspired to use up more of my precut stash - especially since my sewing time is a little bit limited at the moment!


Monday, 20 November 2017

November SBT50 challenge

I'm a few days late in posting, but thought I'd share my project for the Scrapbooking Top 50 November mid-month reveal. This month we have a fun sketch challenge to play with:

Sleep deprivation seems to be killing my scrappy mojo at the moment, but sketch challenges are perfect for times like these. I stuck pretty closely to the sketch and kept it clean and simple, which I think worked well for this photo of my two special guys.

Head over to the SBT50 blog for all the details and to upload your entry. You've got till the end of the month to play along.


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

September and October Beehive blocks and November One Monthly Goal

I've been a bit behind on everything lately but am slowly getting caught up, including catching up on sharing my beehive blocks for September and October.

September's queen, Kara, chose the Bunting block with a super saturated rainbow background. I love rainbow blocks so this was a delight to sew. I also didn't need to look much further than by scrap bins, which was a bonus.

October's queen, Sue, chose the Wanta Fanta block in sunny yellows and low volume. This was a little more challenging for me because Sue encouraged us to include a splash of colour in the background. I hadn't really done low volume with colour before (I usually play it safe with greys and blacks) and blacks, and had to do quite a bit of stash diving to find enough prints, but I quite like the result. Perhaps one day I'll be brave enough to make a colourful low volume quilt for myself. 

I'm also linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal November Linkup and sharing my goal for November - to have my November blocks done and in the post before the end of the month. Hopefully an achievable goal!


Sunday, 8 October 2017

2017 Finish-a-long - quarter 4 proposed finishes

Today I'm linking up my list of WIPs that I hope to work on during quarter 4 of the 2017 finish-a-long. Many of these I have shared in detail before (they're rolled over from previous lists) so today I thought I would focus more on sharing some ideas for hiding storing your works in progress. Sorry in advance for the cruddy photos - they were taken late in the day and it was a bit dark).

My choice of storage for a WIP is largely determined by the size of the finished block and how much progress I have made. I tend to store piles of blocks ready to be assembled into tops in scrapbook containers stored in a cupboard. These are great because the fit blocks up to 12.5" square and have a decent depth to them. Pastry containers are also good for slightly smaller blocks (but I forgot to take a pic of my stack of those).

I also have a number of WIPs stashed in clear containers within drawers. I like these particular containers because they have clear lids, which make it easy to see at a glance what is inside. I tend to use the smaller ones for storing projects where I have cut all of the pieces but haven't sewn the blocks.

For smaller projects I like to use document wallets - they are cheap, see-through and great for storing printed instructions together with fabric/blocks. Here are a few from my collection.

For projects with a lot of small pieces I like to use serving trays. I have a small stack on them under my sewing bench

Another place where WIPs tend to accumulate is on the cutting mat. At the moment I have three projects on the go. I find little baskets helpful for storing fabric pieces - it's easy to stack them up and pop them off to the side when I need to cut something else.

Finally, I have a lot of WIPs stored in large containers, using a combination of document wallets and baggies. For example, a big tub of Christmas projects I started (but didn't finish) last Christmas.

I've listed the details of the numbered WIPs below. Hopefully I've be able to knock off a few this quarter and free up a bit of storage space for other things (like more fabric) :)


1. Ripples blocks from this year's bee.
2. Bonnie and Camille log cabin blocks from a block swap
3. Sampler blocks from the quilt block cook book sew along
4. Milky way sampler blocks
5. Bee-sewcial sampler blocks
6. Ombre gems blocks
7. Homeward bound blocks
8. Garden snails blocks
9. Fracis firefly blocks
10. Strips for a improv tumbler block quilt
11. Strips for a simple patchwork bay boy quilt
12. Scrappy trip around the world blocks
13. Swoon blocks
14. Cut pieces for a Hazel hedgehog mini
15. Cut pieces for a spell it with fabric numbers mini
16. Strips for a DS crazy coins cushion
17. 3.5" squares for a DS quilt
18. Basted, but not quilted, charity baby quilt
19. Another basted, but not quilted, baby charity quilt
20. A half-pieced baby charity quilt
21. Baby quattro quilt
22. Moxie mini quilt/playmat
23. Wild goose chase quilt
24. Glisten quilt
25. Strips and squares for a pineapple block quilt
26. Background pieces for a Geode quilt
27. In progress baby bedding
28. Hand-pieced hexi panel for stocking
29. Pieces for a Flurry quilt
30. Christmas economy blocks
31. Selvage strips so a selvage tree mini
32. Pieces for a patchwork forest mini
33. Jacobs ladder quilt.
34. Quilted stockings for my family.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Sunday Stash 1/10/2017 and October One Monthly Goal

It's been a while since I've linked up with Sunday Stash (hosted by Molli Sparkles) but this week I finally have a few spare minutes to share my latest stash enhancement: a fat quarter bundle of the new Spirit Animal collection by Tula Pink. I wasn't fussed by Tula's last few collections but I LOVE this one. I am especially excited by the return of the arrowhead prints - they were my favourite from in the Acacia collection. Harriet was pretty impressed too.

At first I wasn't sure what to make with these (or even to just hoard them forever) but when I saw that Alyce (of Blossom Heart Quilts) was hosting a Geode QAL I knew I had my answer. The Geode quilt uses 25 FQs so I swapped out the lightest arrowhead print and added the three diamond prints from Acacia to make it up to 25. I'm still mulling over background fabric choices - at the moment it is a toss-up between Lizzy House constellations and Cloud 9 stars.

I'm also linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal October Linkup as my goal for this month is to make at least half of the blocks  - I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up with the QAL but I can hopefully make half the blocks (babies and 4 year olds permitting).


Sunday, 1 October 2017

Zip Up Tray Pouch

I've got one last finish from my list of proposed Q3 finishes to share - a Zip Up Tray Pouch that I literally finished last night (there's no motivation quite like an impending deadline!).

I bought a copy of Aneela Hoey's Zip Up Tray Pouch a while ago after seeing one in use at a sit and sew day. I thought that it would be useful for containing all the hand-sewing supplies that are covering my bedside table.

It's far from perfect, but finished is better (and more usable) than perfect and I am happy to have it done. I'ts already been put to use holding my bits and pieces for my in-progress EPP Party blocks.


A quilt for Stella

My last quilty finish from my list of proposed finishes for this quarter is a quilt that I made for my friend's daughter, Stella.

The quilt was made from a set of precut triangles (called Turnovers) from the Color Me Happy range by V & Co for Moda. I love the lucious colours in this collection and thought they would make a nice quilt for a little girl.

As always, I was short on time so I chose a simple hourglass design. I sewed the Turnover triangles together in pairs (one low volume and one high volume print) to form HSTs and then used the HST to form hourglass blocks. The blocks trimmed down to 9" square unfinished.

I used 40 of the triangles in the pack to make 20 hour glass blocks and arranged them in a 4 x 5 layout, alternating the placement of the low-volume prints. This gave me a top that was 34.5" x 43" unfinished so I was able to back it with a single one yard cut from the same collection.

I was pretty chuffed at how efficiently I was able use the fabric I had (only 2 triangles unused). For the binding I used a quarter yard cut (cut into four 2.25" strips) so there was also very little wastage there. 

Harriet kindly agreed to test out the quilt before we gifted it to Stella. She even wore a coordinating jump suit :)


Saturday, 30 September 2017

A quilt for Harriet

Today I'm sharing a second little bassinet quilt made using spare blocks. I had intended to make a larger scrappy trip around the world quilt in these colours but after four blocks I decided that I wasn't in love with it. Instead I chose to make a version with 8 prints in each blocks and use up some of my hoarded jelly roll strips.

Rather than abandon the test blocks I decided to turn them into a little bassinet quilt for Harriet. She seems pretty pleased with it :)

As you can see, she's almost outgrown it. Luckily I have a nice big pile of WIPs and test blocks ready to turn into more baby quilts.

Linking up with the 2017 finish-a-long as this was one of my quarter 3 proposed finishes.


A quilt for Gregory

Just a quick post to share a bassinet quilt I made for my little man, Gregory. With two little babies my sewing time is very limited so I've been turning old WIPs and leftover blocks into tiny baby quilts. This one was made using some hourglass blocks I made a few years ago (expert quilt holding by big brother Rupert).

I kept the quilting simple with a back and fourth line in the background squares only. Although it feels like I only just finished it, he's already outgrowing it.

Linking up with the 2017 finish-a-long as this was one of the projects I aimed to finish this quarter.


Friday, 29 September 2017

Aussie Mini Barn Quilt Swap Extras

I'm linking up again with the 2017 finish a-long and sharing some swap extras that were on my quarter 3 list of proposed finishes.

When making mini quilts for swaps I often start with the extras (little gifts that are included with the mini quilt) because they are often fun to make and there is less pressure than when making the actual mini quilt.  For the Aussie Mini Barn Quilt Swap my partner made it really easy for me to decide what to make her. In her submission she indicated that she loves caramello koalas and collecting mug rugs to brighten up her desk at work. Naturally, I made her a set of mug rugs with little pockets to hold the caramello koalas.

Another handmade item I included was a swoon block pin, made using a Dandelyne mini hoop and some cross-stitch supplies.

One of the swap requirements was to "prettily package your parcel" so I went a bit OTT with the wrapping, making a handmade box for the mug rugs (I used some woodgrain paper in line with the barn quilt theme) and added a pretty handmade tag.

My partner loved her extras and I enjoyed making them for her. And that is why I love participating in swaps, despite having my hands full with two small babies. In fact, I may or may not have just signed up for another one :P


Aussie Mini Barn Quilt Swap

 I've just realised that I haven't yet shared the mini quilt that I made for my Aussie Mini Barn Quilt Swap partner. I was assigned Andrea (@thehummingcat on instagram), who suggested that she'd love a mini quilt in grey, red and navy. I used prints from the Bonnie and Camille Daysail collection to create a simple star block mini quilt.

I ended up dragging my family to the Collingwood Children's farm so that I could get a picture of the mini in a barn (I think taking photos of quilts can be just as much fun as making them).

My little man was happy too - a trip to the farm usually involves watching cows getting milked, cuddling guinea pigs and eating icecream. In an rare sequence of events, I also managed to make a PL spread about the day.

I'm linking up with the quarter 3 finish-a-long post as this mini quilt was on my list of proposed finishes for this quarter. Stay tuned for the details of the extras I made for this swap.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

September SBT50 challenge

Today I'm also sharing a page I made for the September SBT50 challenge. This month we have a beautiful bright moodboard to inspire you:

I was inspired by the silhouette of the ballet dancer to scrap a pic of me from my ballet days. I used papers that included elements from the mood board (music notes, paint texture, butterflies etc.) and made a vellum pocket to hold a recital booklet that my Mum kept for almost 30 years!

It's not too late to play along - entries are open until midnight 30th September. We'd love to see how this mood board inspires you.


September ARTastic challenge

I'm quite late in posting the September ARTastic challenge, but better late than ever, right? This month our challenge is to create something inspired by our feature artwork (Peter Graham's bright and vibrant painting called Monaco Coast) and to use paint.

I was inspired by the beach scene to scrap a photo of my boys at the beach. I've used watercolour paints in the background and have chosen colours that match the colours in the painting.

The inspiration for the paint work came from a lesson in an online class by Paige Evans. I used a large star shape as a mask and covered the background with a coat of gesso and splattered lots of different watercolours.  I usually avoid adding lots of mixed-media artist but I quite enjoyed this technique and am really pleased with how it turned out.

There's still a few days to play along with the challenge, and two great prizes up for grabs. I hope you'll give it a go.


Sunday, 24 September 2017

A quilt for Lou

I'm linking up again with the Blogger's Quilt Festival (hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side) and sharing my most recent quilt finish.

This quilt was made for a friend of my sister, who requested a lap-sized quilt with a white, tan and coffee colour palette and lots of free-motion quilting in the white areas. While brown is probably my least favourite colour, I enjoyed working with something different from my usual pallette.

For the pattern I chose the Coral pattern (designed by Angela Walters), except I scaled it down to make it lap-sized. I really like the tessellating pattern, and how easily it comes together (it'd just simple squares and HSTs).

I also had a blast playing with different free-motion quilting designs in the negative space. I usually just go for a simple all-over design, but for this quilt I used about 10 different designs.

One day I might make another version of this quilt with some brighter colours. However, I've got about eleventy billions WIPs to finish first!


Friday, 22 September 2017

Geode quilt

I'm only about three months late, but I thought I'd join in the Blogger's Quilt Festival (hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side) and share the Geode quilt that I finished in June this year.

When Alyce (of  Blossom Heart Quilts) put a call out for pattern testers for her new geode quilt I was very quick to put my hand up. I'd seen a sneak peak of her quilt at a sit and sew day and was keen to give it a go. For my version I used a scrappy mix of Carolyn Friedlander prints and I love how it turned out.

The quilt is big (80 inches square), and I was heavily pregnant with twins when I started the quilting, so I chose a simple all-over quilting design. I used a sharp stipple (my first attempt at this design) because I thought it would work well with the shape of the blocks. I was pleased to find that it was quick and easy to quilt so I'll definitely be using this one again.

I actually went into labour halfway through the quilting so this quilt sat half quilted on my dining table for about 6 weeks. I finally got it finished and bound it with another Carolyn Friedlander print. It's now getting lots of use on our bed.

If you are interested in making one of the quilts, check out the Geode QAL that Alyce will be hosting next month. I'm very tempted to join in and make another one :)