Thursday, 6 October 2016

Pay It Forward - Mini Quilt

In December of 2015 I was delighted to find the cutest mini quilt you ever did see in my letterbox.  It was my Pay It Forward gift from Deborah and I'm pleased to say that the mini quilt and I are currently living happily ever after together.

So now it's my turn to start Paying It Forward before the year runs out - eep!

I'm pleased to say that I have my first run on the board ... in the form of this mini ...

The person I made it for is a friend and fellow member of the Perth MQG.  We are both massive Anna Maria Horner fans and recently went on a trip together where we met the very lovely Jen Kingwell.  We both immediately bought her Halo Quilt pattern and templates and I've been scheming this mini quilt ever since!

I just needed some free time to tackle those curves!  Spare time found ... I got cracking with fabric choice ... well, it had to be AMH ... but which ones?

I couldn't decide ... so I used a bit of everything!

Then, how to quilt it?  Jen suggests hand quilting this pattern in her book ... so I went with that!  I mean ... who am I to argue?

I used a variegated 12wt Aurfil thread, colour #3817 for the hand quilting ... and hand quilted the rings in nice big chunky stitches.

I was pretty happy to line up the centre detail of the backing fabric with the centre ring on the front!

Then it was bound ...

Tagged ...

Wrapped ...

and finally gifted ...

I'm pleased to say that this mini is now happily living in it's new home ... until I sneak in one day and steal it back (shh).


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Excuse My Ignorance ...

Fussy cutting ... It's a thing ... from the 1800's

I seriously thought it was a fairly new phenomena spurred on by the fantastic ranges of fabrics out there these days, followed up by some pretty clever people with tricky mirrors ... but nope!

I was in Melbourne recently and lucked upon an exhibition called "Making The Australian Quilt 1800-1950".  Brown quilts are not my thing, but I was curious to see how they were constructed all those years ago.  I mean, how did they manage without on-line quilt shops or thread cutters on their sewing machines?  The answer?  Much better than me with all my mod cons!

Seriously, these people had some skills ... and ... an eye for fussy cutting.

Look!  Fussy cutting!! Roebuck Chintz quilt #1 circa 1860

The snap shot above is from a quilt made around 1860 by the Roebuck sisters who came as free settlers (ie not convicts) to Australia.  This quilt was made en route to Australia ... on a boat ... on the not so flat ocean.

Just goes to show ... what is old is new again.

Speaking of which.  Low volume ... surely that's a new, modern thing right?

The following quilts would like to disagree ...

Elizabeth Lindsay's "Crazy Quilt" made in 1898 from fabric samples

close up ... the red stitching is genius!
Mary Jane Hannaford "Advance Australia Fair" quilt 1920-21

Ok, so I'm not a fan of the appliqued whats-its on the above quilt ... but I love the soft tones (mixed with the odd strong tone) and the movement in the quilt ... I'd even go so far to say that I'd like one of these of my own ... in my home ... sans what-its.

At this stage of my tour around the exhibition, I started to question everything I thought I knew about quilting up to this point.

... and then, to drive home my ignorance further ...

Unknown Maker - "Wagga from Furnishing Fabrics" circa 1935 


Bold and almost solid colour!

Far out ... I needed a lie down ... and a good old think about things.

I came out of the exhibition a little dazed and confused ... I bought the book about the exhibition immediately, so that I might digest this a little further.  You can find your copy here

I'm enjoying flicking through the pages of time ... I feel as though I'm time travelling, or am I in a time warp?

I originally started this blog as a time capsule.  I would log my makes in the hope that my girls might one day decide to follow in my quilting footsteps.  I wonder if in 50 years or so that they will draw inspiration from here ... and ... will it make them question themselves also?


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Shine Bright Star Quilt

My youngest is in Kindy ... such a special time ... watching their little blinkers widening from home life to the big world outside. She is half-way through the year now and today is her first day back after the school holidays. Uniforms washed and pressed ... new lunchbox, new water bottle and a new quilt made by me for Kindy nap time.

At the beginning of the year she said she didn't want me to make her a quilt for Kindy nap time (Aww, I was heartbroken).  But, I smiled back to her and asked what she would like instead.  "Something from the shops", she said.  Ok, I get it ... something shiny and new to go with all the other shiny new things.

I love this quote ... it's so her and so me whispering in her ear

A happy little accidental fabric placement

So off to K-mart we went.  She scanned the isles and found the perfect little pillow and blanket just for her (and the 3 million other kids that would buy exactly the same stuff churned out by the juggernaut ... I thought to myself ... somewhat sourly).

I included a lot of low volume fabrics like this so she could enjoy and discover the little details while she rested

I bide my time ... hoping that by not making a fuss ... she would come back round.  And you know what?  It only took two terms of school (... only ...) but she finally asked me in these holidays to make her a quilt for nap time.

shimmers of gold metallic prints

A dark backing because they nap on the floor

I tried not to sound too eager (yay! woo whoo, happy dance, fist pump, take that K-mart!) and began working on it the minute she went to bed that night!

I remembered to add one of my labels (I often forget to!)

It's finally finished and she took it to Kindy today ... I can't wait to hear all about nap time when I see her shiny, beaming, little face at school pick up.

The sun pillow is from K-mart, she still loves it and to be honest I do to!  


Quilt Stats
Size is 40" x 60"
Fabrics on front: main players are a mix of Paperie, Backyard Circus and Spotlight
Backing is from Spotlight
Quilting thread is Aurifil variegated 50wt #3660 (shades of pink)
Binding is Liberty

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Let's Be Social, Finish it Up Friday

This picture makes me happy

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Tooth Fairy Coin Purse

Today was an exciting day ... our oldest daughter's first baby tooth fell out - eek, ack, gag - exciting!!!

I started planning this little coin purse the moment she felt her tooth getting wobbly.

My daughter picked out her own fabrics ... Lizzy House as the feature fabric ... what can I say?  The girl is still star struck from our day in Kings Park with Lizzy.  

Some Art Gallery Paperie (designed by Amy Sinibaldi) for the lining.

We decided that the baby teeth needed a safe place in the coin purse so I made a little "tooth pocket" to go inside and embroidered some closed eyes with some DMC thread (two strand thickness)

I purchased the cutest ever Candy Ball purse frame from here

Here's how it was looking before the "frame wrangling" began ...
Front: Outside
Looking inside from the front

Now all I had to do was work out how to sew the frame in ... well I knew how to sew it in, but holding it in place and centred, without using glue was proving to be a bit of a pain in the &^%$## ....

So I did what all frustrated quilters do when stumped ... had a cup of tea ... ate half a pack of chocolate biscuits and ... asked Google for the answer.  

Luckily Google came up with the goods before I managed to stress eat the remaining half pack of chocolate biscuits ... Use basting stitches to secure it first!  Duh! Here's the post that helped with that light bulb moment.

Finally a result!


I used metallic Aurifil Brillo #517 ... aka tooth fairy dust thread ... to hand sew the frame to the body of the purse ... not my finest moment of hand sewing ... but my daughter loves it all the same!

Advert your eyes if gappy smiles make you squeamish!

Tooth Fairy time!!


Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, Let's Bee Social and Finish it Up Friday

Friday, 1 July 2016

Makers Tote and That Time In Sydney When ...

In May this year I was lucky enough to attend the Perth Modern Quilt Guild's Mother's Day sew-in.

We have lots of talented people in our Guild, including Bev who is a master at bag-making ... Bev kindly agreed to run a Maker's Tote workshop for those of us that are 3D sewing challenged (pick me, pick me!).

Bev got us off to a great start but it took me a few more home sewing sessions here, and there ... I also had to buy a few vowels making and attaching the binding ... But I got there just in the nick of time for a special trip to Sydney that I had planned.

 I used Anna-Maria Horner's Fibs and Fables for the outside in two different colour-ways.

A cotton weight denim for the gussets and binding.

Kraftex for all the pockets bound in selvage from the front panels

and a mix of Fibs & Fables and Loominous for the interior and pocket linings.

The handles I made myself using some left-over denim from the binding and Kraftex.

So far so good with those handles ... although I can see a stress tear trying to happen in the single thickness section of the Kraftex near where I have attached the handles to the bag ... so I may need to redesign these ... thinking cap on.

Overall, despite the swearing, I did enjoy making this bag.  The swearing was due to using Kraftex for the inside pockets.  They made the bag stiff and therefore it was difficult so squish the bag through my machine to sew on the gussets and binding.  Not the pattern's fault.  Just my fault for pushing the limits in material choices.  But I'm glad I did persevere with the Kraftex.  I love the look and the pockets are nice and sturdy.  They will soften over time, with use ... they'll get lots of use ... because this is my new favourite bag.

So many happy memories with this bag already ... Oh the places we will go and the people we will meet!

Makers Tote meet "Jen Kingwell" and "Tula Pink" - squee!!  My friend Denise and I had the absolute pleasure of meeting these two cool cats at the recent Sydney Craft and Quilt fair

If I look stunned ... it's because I am!
Bought my first piece of Tula Pink fabric at the show and guess who signed it??
and of course the party hasn't started unless you've had a selfie with Sparkle!

My bag and I had a wonderful time in Sydney ... including meeting a lot of the peeps I communicate almost daily with on Instagram.  It was surreal to meet them in real life at the IG meet up kindly organised by Kristy from Quietplay, Keera from Live Love Sew and Molli Sparkles ... my head is still in a spin!

With so much talent in our own backyard ... you'd think I'd be inspired right?  But actually I feel like a rabbit caught in head-lights ... stunned ... unable to move.

I think I'll just sit here for a while ... ponder all that I have seen and experienced and hopefully my brain will start functioning again!


Linking Up with Finish It Up Friday

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Rainy Day Pillow

Instagram tells me that in November 2015 my oldest daughter was feeling down and so I kept her home from school.  In my wisdom, I decided to cheer her up by letting her play with my fabrics ... colour always cheers me up!  ... but guess what colour she chose to play with?


Colours and emotions really do go together don't they?

Sunny day shot in November

We had a little play, I sewed up the beginnings of a quilt as you go pillow for her ... that cheered her up and she was back to school the next day.  And so the half made pillow stayed half made ... until now.

Rainy Day shot in June!

We are calling it her "Rainy Day Pillow".  I love the tenderness displayed in the Sarah Jane print at the centre of the pillow.

Making this for my daughter has taught me that even kids need PJ days sometimes.  Life can get a little overwhelming and no amount of rainbow can bring on a smile.  It's OK to mellow in blues sometimes.  They soothe the mind, cool any anger and freshen you up for the day ahead.

Pillow Stats:
Size 17" square
Pillow front pattern by @quiltstorymeg for @lovequiltingmagine Issue 20
Fabrics on the front are a real mix ... lets play eye-spy for fabric lovers
Fabric on the back is Oval Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics
Enclosed zipper tutorial from Ms Midge, you can find it here.

Zip: Now you see it ...

Now you don't ...

My youngest daughter was feeling her normal happy self that day ... her choice of fabric was a lot more "festive" ... check out this for colour ... did that wake you up?

Time to sign off and start sewing her little masterpiece together too!


Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Let's Be Social and Finish It Up Friday


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