29 September 2014

the great pillow swap

even though I have a huge list of WIPs and to-dos I can't resist a swap and lately it seems that I've developed a love of making pillows so when I saw a new pillow swap on flickr I just had to join in !

My partner had a swoon quilt in her mosaic which was fabulous as I have both the swoon and swoon mini patterns - my partner also likes pink and orange so that was a double bonus as I have plenty of those colours in my stash !

so I did a fabric pull and got started – I used my new favourite pink Ripples Rose from Bari J’s newest range Emmy Grace as well as Jenni Baker’s Dreamin Vintage Bloomery Nectarine – love both of these Art Gallery Fabrics and I must get some yardage before they disappear !! I also used Timeless Treasures Sketch in mist for the background.

it was quite easy to put together if a bit fiddly with all the small pieces and I was happy with the finished pillow - I quilted it in a one inch cross hatch with Aurifil 50wt Dove grey (2600).

when I started thinking about the extras I stalked my partner again and discovered she likes Tula Pink – not sure how I missed that in my initial search - so I made a zippered pouch with Tula’s Acacia range using my favourite print - the raccoon -  as a feature.

I also discovered my partner had an adorable polar bear Christmas decoration in her flickr favourites - it was made by Amy and it was one of my favs as well so I just had to make one !

The pattern is from the book Pretty In Patchwork Holidays which I just happened to have on my bookshelf - the pattern in the book is for a pillow but if used without enlarging is the perfect size for this mini christmas decoration !

my parcel has been sent off to my partner - hope she likes them as I had a lot of fun making them for her !  lucky that polar bear was so cute and fun to make as I've already got requests to make more !!

21 September 2014

through the trees

finally blogging about my through the trees quilt that I finished the last of the binding stitches on Sunday 20 April so its taken me just a little while to blog about !

I actually finished the top in September 2011 - it only took two weekends to make the top so its nice to have it finished and be able to blog about it !

Its a pretty big quilt, the biggest I've made so far, and I just love it - the fabrics are from one of the first fat quarter bundles I received in the Fat Quarter Shop's blogger's choice club - three years later and I still receive a fabulous bundle of fabrics each month.

The fabrics used in this quilt are:

Cloud 9 Happy Nursery, Leaves in sky
Organic Cotton Fruit Punch, Turquoise Crosshatch
Simon + Kabuki Juicy Blossoms, Bubbles Orange
Cloud Nine Happy Nursery, Speckle in grass
Patricia Bravo Bohemian Soul, Bohemian Lace in Gold
Simon + Kabuki Juicy Blossoms, Floating Blossoms Pewter
Simon + Kabuki Juicy Blossoms, Mini Stargazer Teal
Moda Essential Dots, Orange
and Kona Snow

Just love the Simon + Kabuki fabrics and I used the Multi Zinnias Collage for the back - so fresh and colourful !

The quilt is designed by Kate Conklin who is a South Australian designer and the tutorial is available over at Bec's Chasing Cottons blog.

It was a really fun quilt to sew together.  I straight line quilted it on my Bernina - of course that's my excuse for taking so long to quilt it - I needed a super quilting machine !  mmm wonder what excuse I'm going to use for all the other tops lurking in the cupboard :)

Quilt Stats
size: 67" square
pattern:Through the Trees by Kate Conklin
top fabric:see above
backing fabric:Simon + Kabuki - Juicy Blossoms Multi Zinnias Collage
binding fabric: Cloud Nine Happy Nursery, speckle in grass
batting: Warm and White cotton 
quilting: straight lines
thread: King Tut White Linen #971 by Superior Threads

16 September 2014

we have a winner !

I was busy sewing tonight and suddenly remembered I needed to draw a winner for the awesome Block Flower pattern by Jess at The Elven Garden !

so I got Mr Random Generator to pick a number and he picked 2 - with only 5 entries it was a pretty close contest !

woohoo - congratulations Sharon - Sharon blogs over at Vrooman's Quilts and thought this quilt would look good in Vintage Sunshine !

such a pretty choice - I've forwarded your email to Jess who will send you the pattern soon and I look forward to seeing your quilt :)

10 September 2014

the block flower quilt and a giveaway

earlier this year Jess from The Elven Garden put out a call for pattern testers for her new Block Flower pattern and I jumped at the chance !

Jess had already made her quilt and it looked fabulous - she has done some amazing quilting on it too.

Not long after I received the pattern from Jess I won some Art Gallery Fabrics and when they arrived I knew they would be perfect for this quilt.

I then found some low volume fabrics - I don't have a lot of low volume fabrics in my very colourful stash but I managed to find some that I thought would look good !

so I made a start and was really happy with the great instructions in the pattern and how easy it was to put together.

I tried out the fabrics together ...

and along the way I made a few changes ...

I made a few blocks and tried out the sashing strips I had planned ...

I ran out of one of the background fabrics I was using - I only just had enough of one particular fabric and made a cutting error (don't you hate that !) eek I wasn't sure what I was going to do so I put a call out on Instagram and the extremely lovely and very generous Lorena came to my rescue and popped some in the post for me so I was able to keep going :)

I finally had all the blocks sewn together ...


after arranging the layout I was finally able to sew on the sashing and finish the top

I decided to make the sashing on the outside just a bit smaller than the pattern - now I just need to organise some backing fabric so I can get it quilted and finished.

here's another photo of the finished top - the sun was out last weekend and it was a great day to take photos at the park !

Jess has done a blog post showing her fabulous quilt, along with the quilts from her pattern testers - they are all so different and so gorgeous - you should definitely take a look if you're wanting to do this pattern !

Jess has also generously offered to give a copy of her pattern to one of my readers - yay !

for a chance to win just leave a comment - if you want you can tell me what fabric collection you think would suit this gorgeous quilt ! I'll get Mr Random Generator to pick a winner on Tuesday 16 September at 6pm - Australian time.

01 September 2014

around the world blog hop

Last Monday I was tagged by Linda from Flourishing Palms to take part in the Around the World blog hop - Linda is an awesome quilter who lives in Florida, USA, and makes wonderful quilts, does amazing free motion quilting and is very active in social media !  I'm hoping to get to meet her in person very soon !

This blog hop is a kind of get to know you for quilters around the world with with same questions but a whole range of different answers (just like quilters) so lets get to it ! 

What quilting/sewing thing am I working on?

As my WIP and to-do list is sooo long I’m usually working on a few things at once !  I also take part in bees and swaps and I'm doing a couple of block of the months this year so I make quite a few blocks but don't seem to get that many quilts finished !

on the weekend I made some blocks for our Care at do.good stitches circle and I also nearly finished the swoon pillow top that I’m making for The Great Pillow Fight swap

I had a fairly productive weekend and also finished another couple of hexys that I’m making for the Hexy MF quilt – I’ve been making these hexies on and off for a couple of years now but I’ve only got 12 more to make and then I can lay them out and start sewing them together however I'm thinking it could be another year before this one is finally finished !

and yet another slow progress project is my double wedding ring quilt – I’m hand quilting it and I’ve quilted a few blocks over winter so I'm hoping to get it finished before the weather starts warming up too much.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'm not sure if my work does differ greatly – maybe my use of colours makes a little difference – I love pink, orange, and lime green and love those colours together – I love saturated colours so I don’t use much low volume in my quilts - my Totally Groovy Quilt and Pezzy Mod Pop quilts are classic examples of my love of big colour and I’m more than happy to mix all the colours !

Why do I create what I do?

I work in a pretty hectic job so I love the calm of creating – although as I’ve always got so much on my to-do list, my creating is pretty hectic sometimes as well but I just love it – I love the excitement of pulling fabrics for a new project and seeing scraps of fabric become something tangible made with love !

4. How does my creating process work?

I’m pretty much influenced by what I see ... my friend Linda talks about the movie UP and how Dug the dog is distracted by any possibility of a squirrel ...and I’m very much distracted by the latest shiny thing too – I think that’s why I have so many works in progress, I want to make all the things, however unlike Linda I'm not a big finisher ! There are so many amazingly creative quilters in the world its hard not to want to join in all the fun !

I’m happy to follow along with patterns and might put a different spin on by using my colours or making it bigger or smaller !

I saw a photo of a pixelated heart quilt on instagram which was from a free pattern by Blue Elephant Stitches (available at the Robert Kaufman site) and I loved the idea so made a mini out of it – the original quilt uses 5 inch squares but I made mine using 1 ½ inch squares - I love making it so much I've made three !

I made the purple one for the Pantone Quilt challenge in March and love it so much I made a pink one for my mum for Mother's Day and I made another one into a pillow for a fundraiser on instagram !  they all have matchstick quilting which I love doing and I'm wondering if its one of the reasons why I love making this little mini !  Lately I've been thinking about doing more in other colours - mmm more projects for the to-do list !

I also have no qualms about redoing blocks or unpicking if I’m not happy with how they turn out – I know some people think I’m a little crazy for doing that but I always think that if you’re not happy while you are making something you won’t be happy with the finished quilt !

I've joined in doing the globetrotting mystery block with Pat Sloan this year and after making a few blocks and then laying them out together I recently decided to remake a couple of blocks.

when I decided to make a swoon pillow for my swap partner I thought I'd do some test blocks and make a mini – the swoon mini uses 4 – 8” blocks and I picked out the colours I thought would look good but after making a couple I realised that some of the backgrounds were a little dark so I changed colours then I couldn’t decide which ones to use (or what I'd do with the ones I didn't use) so I made some more blocks and I’m going to make a 9 block quilt – it will be a little bigger than the original mini but I’m hoping it will look fabulous !

If you're still reading ... thanks so much for joining me !

to continue the hop I should be tagging some more bloggers but I'm afraid I've lucked out on that front - seems this blog hop is just a little popular and a couple of the bloggers I asked to join in were already "tagged" by others !

If you google "around the world blog hop" you will find so many amazing bloggers who are joining in the fun - I intend to visit quite a few and I'll probably find more sparkly shiny things to be distracted by :)

It really is an amazing world we live in now that we can have friends around the world to share our love of quilting – gotta love technology and social media !!

03 August 2014

seabreeze - a finish and a winner

I've finally finished my seabreeze mini "into the shade"

after quilting it with straight lines 1/2 inch apart I decided to add some more lines 1/4 inch apart - I think my matchstick quilting addiction makes me think the lines need to be close !  I also quilted with matching colours in the three different sections.

I backed it with a fabric that I bought a while ago and then I wasn't sure what to do with it - turns out it will make a fabulous backing for wall hangings - and I sewed some little hanging pockets too so I can hang it with a piece of dowel.

I'm really happy how it turned out - its a bit bigger than most of my minis at 22 inches but I'll find a wall to hang it on.

pattern: Seabreeze by Megan Bohr of Canoe Ridge Creations
top fabric: Prima Homespun, Michael Miller Cotton Couture, and AGF Pure Elements solids
backing fabric: Modern Workshop by Oliver + S for Moda
binding fabric: Prima Homespun in Aqua
batting: Warm and White cotton 
quilting: 1/4 inch straight line
thread: King Tut 40wt #927, #956, #924 by Superior Threads

I'm linking up to the seabreeze mini quilt along reveal linky party over at GnomeAngel's blog - if you've been following along with the quilt-along make sure you check out all the fabulous little quilts that have been made !

before I go I get to announce the winner of the seabreeze pillow giveaway !!

I asked Mr Random Generator to pick a number ...

drum roll ....

and the winner is #27 - Archie the wonder dog - I love your cushion - such gorgeous colours!!!

congratulations Helen and Archie - I'll email shortly !

thanks so much to all who entered - I have another giveaway planned in the next week - its a pattern by Jess Frost of The Elven Garden - stay tuned !!

29 July 2014

a seabreeze giveaway

Last week it was my turn on the seabreeze mini quilt along blog hop and as well as making a mini quilt I also made a seabreeze pillow to giveaway.

I had such fun making this pillow - I made the blocks 2 inches rather than 3 inches so it ends up as a 18 inch square pillow.

I used the same fabrics and same layout that I used in my mini quilt and quilted it on the diagonal - I was going to cross hatch it but I'm happy with the softness of just doing one line.

I used one of my favourite fabrics Erin McMorris' Summersault for the back - the raindrops just happen to have the same colours as the front !  I made a zipper back too !

If you'd like to win this pillow, just leave me a comment ! if you follow my blog then you can leave a second comment telling me that !  If you're visiting from instagram I plan to have another giveaway for my instagram followers very soon !!  please note that due to postage costs the pillow insert isn't included !  I used a 20 inch insert for the photos.

I'll get mr random generator to pick a winner on Sunday 3 August 2014 at 6pm (australian eastern time)

and don't forget the seabreeze mini quilt along blog hop is still going on and finishes with a linky party on Saturday 2 August over at host Angie's blog - you can find all the details here.

25 July 2014

b o o m !!

This is Boom - my entry for the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Fabric Challenge.

earlier this year the Modern Quilt Guild announced a fabric challenge with Michael Miller fabrics - we were to make something quilted with six fat eighths provided by Michael Miller - adding solids or any other Michael Miller fabrics.

These are the fabrics I received on 2 May.

As soon as I saw them I had an idea to do a "brick" design based on one of the fabrics - I cut out a few of the fabrics using a dresden ruler and put them on my design wall and I didn't like it at all !

So I just started rearranging the fabrics and of course being dresden pieces I automatically put them in a circle - my thoughts were an atomic blast but the strobe of a disco ball was edging in as well !

having already cut them out meant that I needed to fill them ! I had some Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Luna that looked really good with the fabrics so I used that.

I managed to sew pieces of solid to the already cut dresden pieces and then recut but for the record its much easier to sew the pieces together first then cut them out with the ruler !

so it was starting to take shape - the fabric range is called Pinwheel Petals and there is a wonderful petal fabric that I thought might look good in the centre - I had already decided that I wanted to piece the centre and outer circles - well, it was a challenge so I might as well really challenge myself !

I tried out the petal fabric for the centre but wasn't convinced.

So I did a bit of colouring in (using the avery app) and added a piece of luna around the petal in the centre - still not happy !

but I was happy with the idea of the luna for the background.  I tried the petal again with the luna in place and folded the petal flower fabric up.

after much deliberation, I decided I liked just the luna in the centre.

it was starting to look like I had imagined ! phew !!

now I just had to work out how to piece it all together - I have enrolled in Cheryl Arkinson's Circles craftsy class so I knew that I could make templates but they're way easier when they're 3" circles !!
I ironed one of the quarter circles onto freezer paper and then traced the outline onto folded greaseproof paper and added a 1/4 inch seam - it was a bit fiddly but it worked !

so I managed to piece the outer, middle, and inner circles all together and I had a top ! woo hoo !

so onto the quilting !

I'm pretty much in love with matchstick quilting and as its a mini and a circle design I didn't even think about using my beginner free motion quilting skills !  so matchstick quilting it was - I looked at a few different threads and my choices were Aurifil varigated 4662 or King Tut varigated 927 - I went with the Aurifil !

the quilting began !

it did take a few hours - well, I didn't actually time it but it took the best part of a day and a bit !

half way through I asked my IG friends for their thoughts on quilting the centre - I did a few sketches and posted on IG - I was tossing up between #3 (in keeping with the matchstick quilting) and #4 (for the bubbling centre of an atomic blast) and suggested maybe #3 - most agreed so I happily finished off the centre too !  next time I'm going to use the pebbles for the centre !

and finally the quilting was done !

I just needed to bind it and Boom was finished !

I like to bind my minis in the same fabric as the background - I like the infinity effect it gives !
I decided to put a couple of coral slivers in the binding to add a little pop of colour - as soon as the binding was on I started having doubts about my choice but the lovely IG community put those to rest !

Boom has been entered on the Modern Quilt Guild website and is now hanging on my wall in my lounge room which makes me happy.

one final close up of that matchstick quilting - love !!!

pattern: my own - based on the dresden ruler
top fabric: Petal Pinwheels and Luna Cotton Couture - Michael Miller
backing fabric: Luna Cotton Couture - Michael Miller
binding fabric: Luna and Coral Cotton Couture - Michael Miller
batting: Warm and White cotton 
quilting: matchstick by me
thread: Aurifil #4662 varigated Creme De Menthe