Thursday, 30 May 2013

WIP - MIL's Quilt

Oops it's Thursday already!

I'm one of those rare people that actually loves their Mother-In-Law – do you hate me?

Unfortunately she lives in England and we live in Australia, so we don’t get to see her as often as we would like, but at least when she does come to stay it’s for a fair chunk of time. 

I plan on having a quilt ready and waiting for her at Christmas this year (her next trip to see us – can’t wait!)

Being in her mid-80’s, MIL has had a wonderful life so far so I thought I would celebrate it through her very own story quilt.

My plan is to make assorted picture blocks and combine them to make a quilt.

First cab off the rank is this cute Apple Pie Block that I made from a pattern in Australian Homespun.

She’s well known for her Apple Pies!

It’s been a nice change of pace doing a bit of hand sewing …


Monday, 27 May 2013

Triangle View

I'm a big fan of Saffron Craig’s organic fabric range, as I demonstrate probably a little too loudly, here!

Her new range Valley View is out and when I saw this triangle fabric ... it was love at first sight.

My package from Saffron arrived a little while ago with a hand written thank you postcard and simply packaged in a brown paper bag.

I've been looking for something a little different to make my youngest the Peplum Bubble Dress from Straight-Grain and am only just now feeling brave enough to cut into it …

The yellow fabric is for the lining and I picked it up at a Spotlight sale.

Now to pick up those scissors with steady hands ... better just procrastinate a little longer and make a cup of tea first!

Linking up with Finding Fifth for Sunday Stash.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Lucy's Tree

What do you do when a friend would like an owl quilt for their daughter, but they’re not into the real cutesy stuff?

You turn to Saffron Craig of course!

Saffron is an Australian fabric designer.  She makes beautiful 100% organic - soft as butter - fabric which are bright, colourful and definitely child friendly without being too baby.  She hasn't asked me to write any of this by the way – I'm just a stalker big fan.

Saffron Craig - Owls On Trees
I had a few fat quarters of her red Owls on Trees stashed – just because I love it and was waiting for exactly right project to use it on.  Do you have fabric that you love and are a bit scared of cutting into?

So I tried to think a little outside the square with this one.  Instead of just using the fabric of owls in trees, I decided to make a tree out of the owls … are you following me?

These pics were my inspiration.

... and this was the result!

To make the tree trunk I sticky taped a few pieces of brown paper together and free-hand drew a rough tree trunk shape with some branches.  I then traced around this design on some lovely bright fabric to make the trunk.  I wish I knew the name of this fabric, but it was a gift and it didn't have any of the printed selvage on it – if you know the name could you please mention it in a comment?  I need a “shazam” app for fabric swatches!

For the owl tree foliage I decided to fussy cut the Saffron Craig fabric using various circle sizes – small kitchen plates etc.  I just cut around the ones with the red backgrounds as they were.  They are slightly oblong shape, so it gave a nice variation to the perfect circles.

Once I had a layout all set for the trunk and owl shaped foliage I used HeatBond Sewable to iron all the pieces in place.  I then used a machine blanket stitch to sew around every piece.  

This took ages … glad I decided not to do it by hand!

The quilt ended up being a single bed size, so I had to send it out to my fav quilter to do.  She helped me choose a lovely flower pattern that matched the floral design in the tree trunk and boarder fabric.

Voila! One owl quilt for our little friend Lucy.

PS I don’t think this owl fabric is available at the moment, but I’m sure if you search Etsy or Ebay someone will have a little stash for sale … or perhaps you could try a similar design with the Kookaburras in Saffron's Banksia Bloom fabric range.


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

WIP Wednesday

My hugs and kisses baby quilt is coming along nicely.  The last time we met I had pieced all the little squares that were destined to make hugs and kisses blocks - following this video tutorial.

I’m using mainly fabrics from Aneela Hoey’s Posy Range for the print fabrics, but I have added a few randoms that I picked up at a garage sale, they are quite retro pretty … wish I knew the name.

I’ve done 12 in total and here are a few of my favourites ...

Do you have favourites when you’re piecing similar blocks?

Twelve blocks should be enough once I add the sashing.  I’m going with white, by the way, thanks to the unanimous opinion of the people that visited this space last week. 

Thinking ahead, I’ve been struggling lately to quilt on my little sewing machine.  He tries so hard – he’s like the little engine that could – but the truth of the matter is it’s tough to push even a baby sized quilt through the limited throat space.  So to get around this, I thought I would give Maureen’s QAYG “quilt-as-you-go” technique a try.  

Have you tried this before?

My thinking is to put oversized sashing around the O’s and X’s blocks and then trim them down to size once I’ve quilted it.

Watch this space!

Linking up with WIP at Freshly Pieced.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Time To Get Organized

I was frantically searching through all my browser bookmarks today to show a friend a quilt pattern that I saw whilst casually flicking through the internet the other day.  

It was this one by the way ...

I’d like to make the quilt for her teenage daughter – not too cutesy (even though there's a baby on the cover of the pattern!) and very Coco Chanel.  

But I just couldn’t find the “#$%&” thing. There was only one thing for it.  It was time to get organized!

I’d heard of this “little” website where you can “Pin” pictures and links from other websites onto a virtual board to record your inspirations.  

Yes I’m talking about Pinterest!  I’ve been living in a cave – lol!

So I’ve signed up and I’ve starting pinning and emptying my browser bookmarks.  Ahh so refreshing to have a little tidy up, even if it is just the virtual house! 

To have a look at what’s inspiring me at the moment you can click on the Pinterest button on the top right-hand-side of this page.

Linking up with Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts today.  She’s hosting the Let’s Get Acquainted Monday Link Up Party. 

Thanks for the introduction Alyce, I’m looking forward to meeting others that link up too.


Sunday, 12 May 2013

A Star For My Shining Star

As it's Mother’s Day today in Australia, I thought it only fitting that I next talk about the quilt I made for my one shining star, my Mum.

I was flicking through Quilters Companion magazine when I came across a striking quilt called “Lone Star” by Michelle Marvig.  It spoke to me and I thought of my Mum immediately.

Quilters Companion Magazine Vol 9.2 No. 42

I read through the instructions a few times thinking to myself “Yup, yup, I understand that completely.”  Well, in my defense, I had just concurred my first quilt so my confidence was at an all time high.

It was about a year away from my Mum’s 60th (sorry for divulging your age Mum!) and luckily for me Spotlight was having a sale – hooray!  So I had a year to complete this quilt and bargain fabric to make it with, which meant I would have spare cash to have it professionally and beautifully quilted.  I was on a winning streak!

One star point down, seven more to go!
As it was school holidays my quilting class was on break.  So I thought I would carry on anyway (being the quilting extraordinaire of one whole quilt) and purchase the fabric.  I would studiously follow all of the cutting instructions and then gain advice from my quilting teachers to help piece it all together during my classes – this is where all the properly experienced quilters laugh out loud – it’s ok, I can take it …

Three more star points to go!

Exiting Spotlight and running to my car through the rain - on a high from purchasing bundles of bright fabric for practically nothing - I nearly get hit by a 4WD.  Oh dear, was this an omen?

Turns out it was …

I cut all the fabric and started sewing strips together that I would later cut at 3” intervals on a 45 degree angle.  Yes, well, I went ahead cutting them all at a 45 degree angle at 3” apart – but on the horizontal instead of 3” along the angle – tip for young players!  Oh dear … luckily Spotlight was still having their sale.  If I had just waited for my classes to start then I would have been shown how to properly cut along the angle.  Such excitement, such haste, such disaster!

I'm glad someone is finding this quilt relaxing ...

When my classes finally started I went in with my bundles of fabric and magazine instructions under arm.  Finally I would be put on the right track and I would pay attention and listen intently.  Well this is what I heard:

Teacher: “Um, any reason why you chose this particular quilt to make?”

Me:  “Well it’s my mum’s 60th birthday coming up and she’s my shining star so I thought I would show her through this quilt”

Teacher: “Yes, ok, um, that’s a really lovely thought.  But, this is your second quilt”

Me: “Yes it is”

Teacher: “… and you have chosen quite a difficult quilt …”

Me (thinking) “Oh crap”

Teacher “You say you’ve already bought and started cutting the fabric?”

Me “yes – um, twice”

Teacher “Ok, well how much time have you set yourself to make this quilt?”

Me “About a year”

Teacher “Ok, well, we better get cracking!”

Pretty happy with the points I was able to achieve

I did get this lovely quilt finished just in the nick of time and I managed to keep it a secret from Mum for a whole year – this is unheard of!

It was beautifully quilted in a bubble pattern which I think softens the look of that striking star.  

Lovely quilted bubble pattern

I chose not to do a big border on this quilt as I wanted the star to be the main focus.

Very narrow border  - just enough to frame the star

I’m not going to lie to you, for my second quilt, it was definitely tough going.  But the thing that made me persevere with this quilt, was who I making it for.  My Mum.  The one person that believes in me no matter what.  Who loves me unconditionally and always has encouraging words and a hug ready and waiting for me.

Matches Mum's fav Elvis pic perfectly!

If you would like to make this quilt for your shining star then you could order a back issue of Quilters Companion magazine Vol 9.2 No. 42 … OR … I just found a link to the pattern for free on the Complete Craft website.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Linking up with the Sunday Stash crew (for the first time - hello everyone!) at Finding Fifth.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

WIP (Work In Progress) Wednesday

This is my first time joining everyone at Freshly Pieced for WIP, so hello! 

I haven’t been blogging long.  In fact, I think I have only done about 7 posts … don’t laugh!

I’m using blogging as a means of documenting my quilting and sewing projects.  Kind of like Nanna’s old recipe book – but for sewing and quilting instead.  I’m hoping that when my two girls grow up and (hopefully) find a similar passion for sewing that they can look back on all our blogged designs and gain some inspiration from us. Who knows, perhaps our quilts will be hip and retro by then? … if not, antique.  Are you still laughing at me?

I’ve been a bit slack lately at keeping up with my little projects, so I’m hoping that by posting about my WIP it will give me an incentive to get some sewing done and some much needed advice from you all from time to time.

So here we go!

I’ve been busy cutting into my layer cake of Posy by Aneela Hoey and my charm pack of Pastel Kona Solids by Robert Kaufman - both purchased from Sewing Box.


To make these

My plan is to put 4 squares together to make hugs

and kisses blocks.

I'm thinking of adding about a 1" sashing around each block then joining them all together to make a baby cot sized quilt.  Do you think I should go with a crisp white or soft grey for the sashing?

So back to it then … I want to show some progress next week!

Looking forward to popping over and seeing what the rest of you clever people are up too …

Linking up with WIP at Freshly Pieced.



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