Wednesday, 25 November 2015

La Passacaglia Quilt ala Forest Gump

Sooooo ... I jumped on the La Passacaglia band wagon ... eyes closed and maybe screaming for my Mum.

The main things that tipped me over the edge was the need for a TV hand sewing project and the fact that I'd just done a lot of sewing on my machine for my daughter's School Fete (which went awesome by the way).

I love my machine (like a lot) but we needed some time apart ... so, yer, here I am, sewing a LP!

Now lets not kid ourselves, this "quilt" could just end up the size of a perfectly formed cushion, however, I'm pleased to say that I have at least surpassed the "this is sooo going to be a pin cushion" stage.  Yay me!

I do still have to attached the stars to my first cog though, so let's hope this project is not left languishing between the pin cushion and cushion stage ... that could happen.

I've decided to use my AMH fabrics for this project, hoping that these beauties will spur me on when times get tough.  I won't want to waste them ... that's the theory ... and so I will keep chugging along.

The only diversion I've made from her fabrics is that I'm using black and white solids for all the stars ... which is not helping my arachnophobia by the way ... they look a little like hairy spiders to me!

You never really see much (if any) black and white in AMH fabrics, mostly just gorgeous saturated colours, so I'm hoping that this works.

But, choosing black for the smallest pieces of the pattern ... to work on at night ... may not have been my brightest moment (stupid is as stupid does).

I think I'll have to invest in one of those lights that you wear on your head for cave exploring ...

...except I'm just sewing and ... no doubt ... I'm going to get looks of "You're a complete dork, who have I married?" from my husband.  Ha!

Attractiveness comes in all forms people!


Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Friday, 16 October 2015

Feelin' Fruity

Spring is here!  The garden in our new house is showing it's hand and we've just tasted our first, ripe mangos for the season.

Mangos are not cheap this time of the year in Perth.  I measure most expenses in FQ's these days ... and the mangos I bought were about two FQ's worth ... but seeing the glee on the girl's faces when eating them was so worth it.

For now though (and until the mangos come down in price) we'll stick to strawberries and pineapples.

The new house calls for new soft furnishings in the girl's bedrooms ... and as they can't quite make up their minds on what quilts they would like, I started by making them some new cushions.

Miss 5 (note she's a whole hand old now!) wanted a strawberry cushion ...

and Miss 4 (who thinks she's five) requested a pineapple cushion ...

I used some low volume scraps to bulk out to the required size and straight line quilting approximately 1/2" apart.

They are fully lined with a zipper on the bottom for robustness ... I'm sure they'll be engaged in some pillow fighting at some point of their existence!

The cushions also have a pocket on the back, the perfect spot for a bedtime story book.

Our girls have a story every night at bedtime and they put the book they would like read to them in the pockets ... Although these days my Pre-Primary girl is starting to read to me ... how exciting is that?!

Miss 4 aka Happy Customer

We'll be onto War and Peace in no time ...


The cushions finish at approx 18" square
Strawberry paper pieced pattern found here
Pineapple pattern found here

Linking up to TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Farmer's Mistress

Ever heard of the Farmer's Mistress?

He was going to make an honest women out her and make her his Wife.

She was all things shiny and new ... and the Farmer could not take his hands off her.

But then, as with all new and shiny things ... she started to lose her appeal.  Got annoying in fact.  I have to cut how many pieces just to satisfy a 6" block?

ALL the pieces

Pffft ... time to flick this broad to the curb (rude!)

and fuss-pot cutting

She's still young and attractive ... if he got rid of her now then they would both have a chance of finding true love again ... (gosh this Farmer is so selfish!)

They made 24 six inch blocks together, all with their bare hands.  That's something they should be proud of, something to hold onto and remember, something to learn from ...

It wasn't all the hard graft of the hand sewing that soured the relationship.  Once prepared, each 6" block came together so quickly and the joy ... oh the joy .... of finishing each 6" block was real, but marred by the fact that all that wooing and preparation had to start all over again for 6 measly inches.

No, not this Farmer ... he just didn't have the stamina *cough*


WIP Wednesday

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Possum Magic - Final Border on Riddle and Whimsy's Quilt

I recently had the pleasure of working on Jo's (Riddle and Whimsy) quilt for the second time.  One of our Possums has had to bow out due to bad health (sending soooo much love her way) so a few of us decided to step in and help with her rounds.

When I received Jo's quilt from Wendy (Wendy's Quilts and More) it looked like this:

More pictures of Wendy's border and process found here

Now, I'm not a huge fan of Improv ... there I said it ... but it does have my attention.  There are some Improv quilters out there that I really admire ... just don't ask me to do it, OK? I'll get all in a flap.

So imagine my OCD alarm bells ringing when I received this quilt.  It was all lop-sided in my head.  It's not you ... it's definitely me.  I had to make things "right" and finish this quilt off with a structured border.

A quick chat with Jo and it was decided ... let's continue the HST's all the way around the quilt.

Fabrics Selected
Happy Accident ... Fussy Cutting
Equilibrium is just one border of HST's away ... and ... little people's feet

There ... that's better!  I can sleep now ...

I forgot to measure the quilt before handing it to Jo, but it must be pushing 80" (almost) square.

... with only a slight twitch in my eye because I purposely made all the HST borders go in different directions - you can call that my nod to Improv.


Monday, 5 October 2015

Highlight - Lizzy House Down Under

"Dear Future Grandchildren,

Your Mothers, Great Grandma and I have had the most wonderful few days ever with Lizzy House!!  Who's Lizzy House you say?  Go and take a closer look at your quilts (that I'm yet to make you) ... her fabrics WILL have been sewn into them, I guarantee it!

Kings Park Happy Snap :)

We were very fortunate to have the truly lovely Lizzy House come ALL the way to Perth (seriously, no one comes here from the States ... you want me to travel how much further?  No way!  It took me about 20 hours on a plane just to reach the East Coast of your country ... you Aussies are crazy!).  I can't wait until that nanoo-nanoo transporter is invented.

I think that everyone that met Lizzy must have thanked her a bazillion times for making the extra journey to the West.

Hoping to inspire her next line of fabric (we like to aim high) we took Lizzy to explore Kings Park.  The botanical gardens contain some plant life that only exists in Western Australia and being Spring,  all of the wildflowers were in bloom.

Click here to go to Lizzy's IG account

Lizzy must have stopped after every two steps to take a picture of the flora on display.  We were so fortunate to see our park through her fresh eyes.

Of course she was here to share her Meadow quilt with us lucky ducks.

Your Great Grandma and I jumped at the chance to take the workshop.  I knew it was going to be a good day ... but, oh man, it was awesome.

The Meadow quilt has quite a few curved and circle pieces in it ... I was quietly packing my dacks about the curved piecing part (curved piecing and I are not besties) and your Great Grandma is only new to quilting.  Could we ever make this quilt?  Lizzy assured us we could, and you know what?

 After spending just one day with this inspiring lady ... we most certainly will.

Your Great Grandma and I have framed our Meadow Quilt test blocks ... and we'll pass them onto you one day.


Please treasure them.  Don't let them gather dust in the attic.  They contain an abundance of positive energy.  It was a very special experience to learn this quilt from such an inspiring, sharing, giving lady ... with a sense of humour that's right up my alley ...

Taking my Quilt holding duties very seriously ...

Lizzy House and my Mum (your Great Grandma also called Lizzy) laughing at the quilt holders (ahem ...) antics :)

I hope you get to experience a day like this is your lifetime!

All my love,

Nan xxx"

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Purple Thing

Remember that delicious (read lots of sarcasm into that descriptive word) Sofia Fabric our nearly 4 year old found at the fabric shop? How can you forget?

Well, true to my word and because I was nagged a lot, I made something with that fabric.

Bag in training ...

I'm happy to report that my machine didn't blow up nor did the world end (as I had predicted) but I did get a very happy, now, 4 year old out of the process.

She's always wanted a bag just like her big sister's ... "but not Kitty mum".  I didn't make the hello kitty bag that her sister owns, that was a gift from her Aunty.

I haven't been able to find a Sofia one "just the same Mum, but with Sofia" ... so I set to making one when we stumbled upon this fabric ... ahem.

I kind of followed my nose and this tutorial to make the bag ... I haven't made many bags, so this 3D world was a bit of a challenge, especially if you want it fully lined like I did.  Of course I blamed all of the unpicking on the fabric and not my lack of bag making skills ... would you expect anything less?

But with a mild dose of patience and a large dose of champagne, I got there in the end.

Her smile when it was finished ... was everything.


PS here are some pics from our shiny new 4 years old's birthday ... in case you missed it on IG :)

Princess Sofia Cake (of course)

Obligatory family pic :)

Linking up to TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Purple Sofia Hell

I'm not quite sure what I did to deserve this ...

There I was, perusing the shelves of a local chain fabric store with my soon to be 4 year old in tow ... when I hear the following words ...

Miss almost 4: "Sofia! Sofia!  Look Mummy, it's Princess Sofia!"

To my utter horror, she had found a whole bolt (because no-one else wants the stuff) of Princess. Sofia. PURPLE. fabric ... fabrics Gods have mercy on me!

Far out ... the kid had found her fabric utopia ...

Miss almost 4: "Can we get a Fat Quarter Mum?"

If it wasn't for that fact that I was so proud that she remembered what a Fat Quarter was, I would have had the faculties to say "No, not this time"

... but by now other customers were staring at me, no doubt suitably impressed by her quilting vocabulary, that I said "yes, sweetheart, of course we can" .... (palm to head).

{Audible groan} what to make with this stinking stuff?!

Well Miss 4 knew exactly what she wanted, and when I figure how to make the purple thing I'll let you know!


Friday, 7 August 2015

Sewing Travel Kit

I first stumbled across this tutorial whilst mindlessly trawling Pinterest ... I quickly pinned it to my Sewn Gift Ideas board and moved on to the next shiny thing ... or so I thought.  You see this little project has not left my mind.  I kept daydreaming about it and the only way I could get it off my mind was to make one!  That ever happen to you?

But how to "fit" the project in?  I decided to take the #sewtake20 route ala Night Quilter.  What a difference this blog post has made to my sewing life! Well actually, if I'm honest, my whole life, but this isn't a self-help blog, so I'll just leave that comment hanging.

The first 20 minutes saw me sewing a mini charm pack together.

The second and third (and possible fourth) lots of 20 mins saw me adding some rudimentary chunky hand quilting.

and I continued on much that way until the whole kit was finished!

I mostly followed the tutorial, but I did do a few things different to suit my supplies and mood.

1. I chose to make the thread holder out of ribbon - mostly because I don't like sewing small pieces of velrco, but also because I love a sweet bow.

2. Ribbon was also my 'material' of choice for the tie ... for the same sweet bow reason above.

3. Because I used a mini charm park to make the outer fabric (meaning I was using 2.5" squares when the dimensions only required 2" squares) it ended up being too big and I had to trim it down to the correct size.  I decided to use these trimmings to edge my pockets instead of another contrasting fabric as suggested.  I really like the look of the pieced edges BUT it was a pain to top stitch over the seam allowances.  I suggest using a walking foot if you go down that route, it will save you unpicking ugly stitches like me!

4. I pieced together some scraps from the outer fabric and grey fabric inner pockets to create the scissor pocket.  Again, because of the pieced seams, it was hard to iron under the seam allowance to top stitch.  So to get around this I sewed the scissor case to some scrap fabric (right-sides-together), left some room for turning through.  Then I ironed the opening closed and top stitched it to the inside of the case.

5. Finally, because I'm lazy ... and because it matched so well ... I used some left over binding from these quilts to bind the sewing kit.  I wouldn't do this again.  I cut my binding strips 2.5" wide, which I find great for quilts, but in this case I would stick to the tutorial which suggests 2 or 2 1/4" wide ... unless you are feeling lazy me.

As this sewing kit is a gift I filled it with some extra love ... 2 spools of Aurifil, some lovely little snips (I tied some of the spool ribbon on the end to make it easier to access the scissors from the pocket and also so that you can see that those scissors belong to that kit ... anyone else have specific scissors for each kit, or is it just me and my OCD?).

I also included the leftover mini charm squares from the pack along with some 1' hexie papers, some cute pins and a touch of Merchant Mills.

I think I've used up all of my "sweet" yearly quota making this little gift ... I'll go back to being a bogan now :)


Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday and Sew Cute Tuesday


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