5 Things I’m Loving Right Now!

22 Apr

#ONE

{Embroidery}

Over the weekend, I managed to squeeze in some time to start a new embroidery project.

I can’t remember the last time I had a needlepoint project on the go – I think it may’ve been sometime before Christmas…??

I was inspired to get back to the hoop when I re-watched a video I made last year called Stop-Motion Embroidery, where I took a photo of my work in-progress every two minutes.

It actually turned out to be a pretty rad little film – so now I’m motivated to do the same thing with this project.

This is currently where I’m up to…

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I’ve limited the colour palette to just pinks and reds – an unlikely challenge if I may say so myself!

I have no idea how long this little side venture will take me to complete.

But know this: I’ll definitely be posting the final embroidery and video right here once it’s done!

 

#TWO

{My Easter Show Ribbon}

In Sydney Australia, during two weeks around Easter, there is a huge Agriculture, Food and Crafts show called the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

This is a huge affair in the Sydney (and neighbouring rural districts) social calendar and is a highly prestigious show that spans back over a hundred years or so.

(You may have seen a certain Royal Couple visit this in the last week or so…!)

So to join in on the festivities and atmosphere, I entered in a few of my favourite quilts and one of my embroideries.

To my surprise, one of my quilts received an elusive Easter Show Ribbon!

IMG_2656My darling ‘Happy Quilt’ won me a beautiful Highly Commended ribbon!

I was and still am totally stoked that one of my quilts is of Ribbon Winning quality!

Happy! Happy! Happy!

 

#THREE

{Nephews}

Boys1

I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to be able to spend a lot of time with my four nephews each week as they only live (quite literally) down the street.

The oldest is six turning seven in May and the youngest is only a darling eight months old.

Each one of them possesses a one-of-a-kind cheeky and super-cute personality.

They also love being typical boys – playing LEGO and video games, watching Adventure Time (which this Auntie LOVES!!), eating tons of chocolate and generally getting into anything they can get their hands on!

The minute I came across this image on Pinterest…

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Source | Pinterest

I immediately thought of those four little men!

(In a loving and precious kinda of way of course!)

 

#FOUR

{British Invasion Fabric Range by Riley Blake Designs}

Source | Riley Blake

Source | Riley Blake

If you’re new to reading my blog you may not know the love I have for all things British!

So when I heard that Riley Blake was bringing out a collection with all things typically Britishy, I flipped my lid!

I literally went into ‘fan-girl’ mode and swooned over all of the prints in the collection!

I’m really hoping I can get my hands on a Fat Quarter stack at the up and coming Sydney Craft and Quilt Show in July!!

I want it so bad!!

#FIVE

{Tea}

Sadly, here in Australia, we’ve waved goodbye to summer and are currently in the thick of a chilly start to autumn.

It seems like the weather has gone from hot to bitterly cold over night!

However, with the colder weather comes an outbreak of tea-sipping fever!

IMG_2432

One of the best things I love to do in the whole wide world is to make a cup of tea, snuggle under a quilt, pop on a good DVD and gobble down some good quality chocolate!

Ahh, heaven!

Over the last few weeks I’ve been enjoying a good brew of English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Peppermint and Green (with lemon) teas.

 ***

And onto other things…

My goal for this week is to finish the quilt top of my Friendship Star Quilt (only four more blocks to go! Whoo!) and maybe even get some quilting done on my New Year Resolutions WIPs

In an odd kinda way, I feel slightly guilty for not spending time on getting my WIPs done when I was keen-as-mustard to do so at the start of the year.

My time and efforts have been diverged onto other projects and ideas over the last few months that these WIPs are literally (and typically) sitting lonely in one corner of my sewing room.

So, the intention is there…

Hopefully it gets fulfilled!

Happy Sewing Friends! xx

TUTORIAL | Foundation Paper Piecing

21 Apr

The Easter Long Weekend came as blessing in disguise for me.

I was able to use the time to focus on getting my Foundation Paper Piecing tutorial edited and uploaded for you!

Initially I was going to demonstrate the technique using a Wonky Log Cabin pattern that I had drawn up, but decided it was possibly a little bit too complicated and fiddly for a ‘beginners’ tutorial.

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So in the end, I drew up this Flying Geese pattern that seemed more quick and simple.

The method I use to tackle Foundation Paper Piecing is the way I was initially taught and feel is the most easiest, quickest and neatest way to do it.

However, there are plenty of other ways Foundation Paper Piecing can be done. These preference will (and do!) vary from quilter to quilter!

Is your method different from mine?

Let me know how you do it!

Enjoy watching..

and

Happy Sewing Friends! xx

When life gives you lemons…

14 Apr

…you make a soothingly warm lemony drink powerful enough to banish all unwanted weekend sniffles.

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Yes, that’s right, all my weekend plans went out the window when I was struck down by one of those pesky not-yet-a-head-cold-but-soon-will-be yucky feelings.

So I pumped my body full of some good ole vitamin C, a healthy dose of Ibuprofen and snuggled down under a quilt with a book: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

And blamed the abrupt change of the weather for my sudden bout of illness!

One day it’s hot and sunny, the next cold and rainy – welcome to autumn: Australian style!

Anyway, enough about feeling sorry for myself…

I had planned for the weekend to begin filming a video tutorial (VT) I had promised about Foundation Paper Piecing – obviously didn’t happen – as well as to continue on my way with my Friendship Star blocks.

Foundation Paper Piecing Video Tutorial | Pattern Sneak Peek!

Foundation Paper Piecing Video Tutorial | Pattern Sneak Peek!

Now the latter did happen: four more pretty little blocks are adorning my design wall, giving me ample encouragement to keep-on-keeping-on with this quilt because the end result is going to be FABULOUS!!

(If I may say so myself!)

Top: 14 blocks completed! Bottom: The perspective shot!

Top: 14 blocks completed!
Bottom: The perspective shot!

So the next few days I hope to concentrate on getting said VT on it’s way, taking onboard all of your wonderful suggestions, thoughts and opinions on how I can improve and make my VTs better for you to watch and learn from.

Until then,

Bon Oui* lovely friends! xx

~

*Good Night! (French)

Friday Equals Sewing Day!!

11 Apr

Aren’t Fridays wonderful!?

They’re like an open window: you look through and see the shinning hope of what the weekend will entail!

For me I’m fortunate to have Friday as an extra sewing day.

And that’s exactly what’s happening on this crisp autumn afternoon!

I’ve been itching for a spare bit of time to crack on with my Friendship Star Quilt.

So far I’ve made 10 blocks and need to complete another 15 before I can begin piecing them together to finish the quilt top.

Today I’ve cut and pieced HSTs etc. ready to piece together at least another 4 or 5 blocks.

blogpic1

blogpic2

blogpic3I don’t know why but I seem to have this odd habit of cutting out only enough fabric to piece together 4 or 5 blocks at one time. I never cut out everything before I start. I think I’m always wary of getting stung by cutting too much and essentially wasting fabric that I could’ve used for another project.

Surely, I’m not the only one who does/thinks this…??

So, I’m in a ‘slow-pace’ kinda mood today, meaning I’ll possibly play a little bit of Passenger (my ultimate favourite singer/songwriter) and simply take my time getting these sweet little beauties done.

Heaven is right where I am this afternoon! :)

Happy Sewing Friends!! xx

TUTORIAL | The Plus-Sign Block

4 Apr

I present to you another one of my Quilt Block Tutorial videos!

When I’m browsing on Pinterest (which is practically all the time!), I always seem to come across beautiful quilts made with this block.

Links to these quilts are at the end of this post!

Links to these quilts are at the end of this post!

And they’re always so pretty and effective!

I ummed-and-aahhed between calling this block the Plus-Sign or (Modern) Crosses block as it can be referred to as both these names.

In the end, I settled on the Plus-Sign block as this particular design looks more like a plus-sign (+) than a cross (x).

Lately, I’ve been receiving some wonderful and very encouraging feedback about my tutorials (which I love!) and in the way that I present them.

People are torn between the narrative style I’ve done in the past and the annotated versions I’ve been doing of late.

Let me know what you think!

I would love to know where and what I can improve on to help you understand and enjoy my video tutorials!

The next video tutorial in the works is a Foundation Paper-Piecing idea that I said I would do in my Craft Haul video!

I’m super-super excited to get that underway!

So I here I leave you for the day…

I wish you all a splendid weekend!!

Happy Sewing Friends! xx

~ LINKS ~

The quilt by cluckclucksew

The quilt by Custard Bean

The quilt by allbuttonedup

The quilt by craftyblossom

FOR SALE | Little Wallets

3 Apr

IMG_8131

I’ve beaten my procrastination and have re-stocked a few new lovely little items in my madeit shop!

Huzzah!!

These little wallets have been on the go for the past month or so and have been ever-so-patient in getting finished.

During Construction!

During Construction!

I’ve listed them at $12 each with FREE postage!

Unfortunately, you can only purchase these if you live in Australia :(

So go on, check them out – they’re the perfect size to fit in a little clutch bag when out for the evening or great to take with you if you’re popping down to the local shop or even when your on the way to pick the kidlets up from school!

Finished Little Wallets

Finished Little Wallets

If these babies go down a treat, I may be tempted to make more…lots more!

(Ok, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves!)

I hope you are all having a lovely Thursday – only two more sleeps until weekend crafting can commence!!

Whoo!!

Happy Sewing Friends!! xx

PS. If you missed the shop link at the start of the post, you can also get there by

1. Clicking the ‘Visit My Madeit Shop’ widget to the right

OR

2. Scroll up to the top and click on SHOP - the link will also be there!

Mini Craft Haul!

31 Mar

I’ve been buying so many quilting gadgets and sewing accessories over the past month or so (who doesn’t, right?!), that I wanted to share a few of them with you in something that I call:

A Craft Haul!

 

Item #1

‘The Quilting Answer Book’ | Barbara Weiland Talbert

I discovered this little beauty of a book in one of my local bookshops and immediately knew it was coming home with me!

QUILT BOOK

I had a good little flick through it to see what it was all about…

It begins with the basic questions and answers that all newbie quilters begin with regarding fabrics, batting, tools/accessories as well as cutting, piecing and pressing and how a quilt is assembled etc.

The book also delves into answering the deeper and more advanced techniques of quilting like applique, quilting techniques and skills, embellishments, calculating your own block designs and more!

The book has been set out into easy to find and read sections that have informative diagrams and images to follow along with.

[CLICK HERE] To see more information about this book!

Item #2

Fiskars Self-Healing Double-Sided Cutting Mat | 18x24inches

I had been saving like mad and keeping my patience hat on, waiting to get this.

My previous cutting mat was getting a bit ‘rough-around-the-edges’, both sides. Because I was really impressed by the quality and features of that Fiskars cutting mat, I was on the look out for a good sale price (these baby’s aren’t cheap!).

Eventually my patience was rewarded with a 40% off Fiskars Quilting Tools sale at Spotlight! Cha-Ching!

CUTTING MAT

The thing that I especially love about the Fiskars Mats is that they have the 1/8th” measurement lines as well as a dotted lines in between the solids so that accurate measuring and cutting is a breeze!

 

Item #3

Sew Easy Patchwork Ruler | 14×4.5inches

While I was ‘treating’ myself to a new cutting mat, I also purchased another quilting ruler.

RULER

I was looking for another one of those ‘basic’ types of rulers that can be used when measuring and cutting anything.

This particular ruler is slightly longer than the previous one I was using (tick!) and features the all-important imperial measurements (tick!).

Item #4

Clover Tracing Wheel | With Serrated Edges

CLOVER

When I do paper-piecing, I like to perforate the lines that I’ll be sewing over by guiding the paper through an unthreaded sewing machine. This perforation helps when tearing the paper off in the later stages of the block construction.

To avoid this time consuming step, I bought a serrated edge tracing wheel that will, hopefully, do the same kind of job as the sewing machine.

I’m yet to trial this method out so I can’t really say whether this will work with much success! I’ll keep you posted!

 

Item #5

Pink Thread Snips | With anti-slip grip handle

I like using these types of thread cutters. I find that they’re quicker to pick up and use and the point at the end of blade cuts closer to the surface.

SNIPS

These particular thread snips are unbranded and were on the cheap side, so how well they’ll work and how long they’ll last is anyone’s guess!

 

Item #6

‘PaintBox’ Collection by Cynthia Rowley | ‘Prism’, 50x112cm

FABRIC

Gosh I love this fabric! I’m sucker for anything with crisp geometric forms and bold intense colours.

As you may know, I’m using this print as the feature in my Friendship Star Quilt. Initially I only got about half-a-metre (50cm) from the meterage and realised it wouldn’t quite be enough for what I was doing (don’t you hate it when that happens!?). So I bought another 50cm for when I need it – and I will!

This print was part of a super-swish collection from Cynthia Rowley that I purchased from Spotlight. The other designs in the range are all insanely beautiful and fun…I wish I was a millionaire so I could buy them all!

Item #7

Black Acrylic Chalk Board Paint | Typo, 250ml

I’d been searching around for chalkboard paint for ages until I very randomly came across this sweet little tin in one of my favourite stationary stores.

PAINT

I was happy with the price ($9.95) and the size, so I got it!

I haven’t used this product yet, so again, I’m not sure of the quality that lies within… However, I’m always on Pinterest, so I’m sure I’ll come across a brilliant craft idea to try it out on! I’ll share that too when the time comes!

I also filmed a video of me chatting about all of these products on my YouTube Channel!

All of these products, except the book and chalkboard paint, I purchased at Spotlight – usually when there was a catalogue sale or storewide sale.

I haven’t been paid or asked to review/chat/share these items. Everything written is my own opinion, experience and thought.

Moving on, I have new quilt block tutorial coming out later this week!!

Here’s a little glimpse…

Mystery Block...

Mystery Block…

Ooo, what could it be!?!?

Stay tuned for more!

Happy Sewing Friends!

xx

PS. You can also find more of me, my work and patchworky dreams here –

TWITTER | https://twitter.com/3and3quarters

INSTAGRAM | http://instagram.com/3and3quarters

PINTEREST | http://www.pinterest.com/3and3quarters/boards/

TUMBLR | http://amandarolfe.tumblr.com

xx

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