How I Match My Fabrics!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you’ve had so much planned to do but by the end of the week, hardly nothing has been done?

Yeh, that’s one of the weeks I’m currently experiencing!

Here it is, a windy, chilly Thursday afternoon and I find that my sticky-note to-do list is still full of those task I wanted to get done on Monday! Gahh!! When did life get so busy and full?!

Anyway, let’s all calm down and allow me to use this small amount of time I’ve discovered this afternoon to write this (late!😁)* post and share it out to the world! Yay!

So quite recently, I’ve been asked by a lot of you to share the way, the method and/or the steps I take when matching fabrics for a block/quilt. I thought, ‘what a great idea! I’d love to share that with you all!’

So over the past weekend I made and uploaded the following video onto my YouTube channel, giving you an insight into how I do this when starting from just one main fabric. I decided to use three different print fabric examples in the video so that you could get the gist of how I do it!

If you have a particular method or style when it comes to matching your fabrics, please free to share it in the comments below!

Happy Matching, Friends!!

xx

*It’s okay, I know you all don’t mind that I write and publish out blog posts a little later than usual. And I know that you understand that life’s a busy ol’ mess and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. And you know, that’s okay, because there are situations in life that could be a whole lot worse than a busy and unstructed week. (Wow, I just got all like deep-thinkery and stuff about the situation and I scared myself a little bit… ohh… It must of been the 85% Dark Chocolate I nibbled on earlier. Which, may I say is horrible! Ergh! It was way too bitter! My disappointment levels are sky high right now!!! All I wanted was a nice little piece of chocolate with my afternoon cuppa, but instead was hit with a mouth full of saliva-sapping cold-hearted bitterness! 😭 Oh gosh, I’m rambling now…. I’m sorry. Must. Stop. Typing. Uhhh….yep…I’m going…I’m stopping…right now… uhh… Bye!)

An Update from my Sewing Room… #2

I can tell you a secret?

(Well, it’s not really a secret. More of a thought, actually.)

I really loved having the opportunity to sit, write and share what had been happening in my Sewing Room last time and the response to that post was really encouraging and supportive! So because of that, I’ve decided to make this into a bit of a series to explore and to use as a ‘newsletter’ type thing, keeping you updated on things that I don’t share so much on YouTube, Instagram or any other of my social networky places. Sound good? Good!

And also, I like writing these types of posts as I love to be able to go back and read about what I was up to this time last year (yes, I am the type of blogger that actually likes to re-read what they wrote a year ago!), or to re-fresh my memory on the progress I made with quilts-in-the-making. I especially like looking back on posts about quilts that I give away, remembering what they looked like and re-living the thoughts (and struggles) I was facing when making them.

So, where to start off this time… Hmm…

Let’s start here!

The other day I did share this completed quilt top on Instagram of one of the commissioned baby quilts I’m making for a friend.

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I’m completely over the moon with how well it’s all come together! I absolutely loved how the fabrics shone, glimmered and danced in the winter sunshine and soft breeze on the day I shot these photos! It was a beautiful moment where my crazy quilt-nerdisms went into hyper-drive and I squealed and giggled to myself over its cuteness!

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All up, I made five Granny Squares Blocks and had a hard time deciding whether to leave in the top left yellow spot block or this green spot block (ie. the first block I made at beginning!)

My First Granny Squares Block!
My First Granny Squares Block!

I ended up using the yellow spot block as it seemed to balance out all of the mint-green fabrics I had used. It seemed to give the quilt an over-all subtlety and softness that I really like.

Moving on to baby quilt number two. This time around I’m making a small bunch of 5.5″ Pinwheels using the left over 3.5″ squares I over cut for the Granny Squares Blocks. (They really are super adorable!)

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I’ll also be using up any left over 2″ sashing I used on the previous quilt to sash the Pinwheels together. I think I’ll then add the same kind of border I did to the other one as well, but instead use the soft yellow spot fabric in place of the green strip border.

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Yesterday afternoon I spent some down time finishing the piecing of the Pinwheels and then begun sashing the blocks together. I’m now at the stage where I can quite easily finish the quilt top in one afternoon or evening sewing session. (That’ll either happen today or tomorrow!)

I’ve set myself a goal to have both baby quilt tops finished for the start of next week so I can concentrate on getting them quilted. I think I’ll stick to some pretty basic quilting lines – nothing as intense as my Geo Dreams Quilt or Amelia’s Baby Quilt – as I think it’ll really compliment the softness and simpleness that each of these quilts already radiate.

(Here’s a piece of behind the scenes trivia for you: While piecing the Pinwheel Blocks together, instead listening to music like I usually do, I played season four of Adventure Time in the background! It helped tremendously to make those tedious steps of squaring up HSTs and pressing tricky seams a lot more bearable and fun! Math!)

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Finn & Jake // IMAGE SOURCE

The next thing I wanted to share with you is a pattern that I’ve been swooning over for the past week! And it’s this one by Fat Quarter Shop

The Panda-Monium Mini Quilt!

Panda-Monium Mini Quilt by Fat Quarter Shop // SOURCE
Panda-Monium Mini Quilt by Fat Quarter Shop // IMAGE SOURCE

I’m dying to get stuck into making this sweet little mini but I just can’t… I already have my fingers in so many pies, so to speak, that I really need to calm myself down, put my patience pants on and begin it when I don’t already have so many other quilts to get finished!! (And seeing so many great versions of it being made on Instagram doesn’t help to calm my fever!!)

Oh, and I forget to mention – it’s a free pattern!! (Say what!?) Yep. A FREE pattern! I love a good freebie! Annndd, there’s also a YouTube tutorial on the Fat Quarter Shop channel showing you how to make it! How good is that?! :D

And lastly, may I just say, how awesome is the Mollie Makes magazine?!

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If I could sum up everything that I want to be as quilter/sewer/crafter/whatever, this magazine is it! It’s 100% me but in pretty matte-pages form!

Although we’re a few issues behind here in Australia and you literally have to pay a small fortune for just one copy, it’s totes worth it, especially when you get cute freebies like pastel vintage buttons and DIY pincushion kits!!

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So that’s it this time ’round.

The weekend ahead, as usual, is full of sewing, creating, filming and editing!

I hope you’re weekend will be just as fun as mine!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

TUTORIAL: Diamond Square Block

Here’s another quilt block tutorial coming your way! This time we’re looking at how to make the Diamond Square Block!

After showing this quilt I’m making for a friend for her birthday on Instagram and in the background of a few of my videos

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I’ve received so many requests from all you to show you how to piece this block/quilt together!

So here it is for you to make and turn into a lovely quilt, just like I have!

PS. I decided to make the following block using a range of pink printed fabrics, as I was so ready for a change from using so many blues!!

The deets…

This block is made up of x16 5″ HSTs and measures approx. 18.5″ squared.

Measurement & Cutting info:
You will need to cut:
– x8: 5.5″ white squares
– x8: 5.5″ squares from an assortment of print or coloured fabric (x1 of each)

A quick low-down of the steps to take:
1. Pair, sew, cut, press and trim the squares to make x16 HSTs.
2. Lay out the HSTs into the Diamond Square block design.
3. Sew the squares into four rows of four.
4. Press each seam on the back of the rows flat open.
5. Sew each of the four rows together to form the block.
6. Press and square up the block to finish.

For more detailed instructions on how to make this block, simply follow along with the steps in the video!

Diamond Square Block
Diamond Square Block

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I can’t believe that some of you have already been sharing your completed blocks with me on Instagram (which I absolutely love, btw!), you’re creativeness and fabric choices always blow me away! If you would like to share your blocks/quilts with me, you’re always more than welcome to by tagging me on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter!

FYI: If your Instagram account is set to private and I don’t follow you, I won’t be able to see your photos when you tag me!! If this is the case, send me an email letting me know you’ve tagged me and I’ll do my best to find you on Instagram so I can give you a big fat LIKE and some wonderful words of positivity and encouragement!! :D

Happy Sewing, Friends!!

xx

TUTORIAL: Granny Squares Block

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Classic. Traditional. Modern. Simple. Fun.

…Are just a few words I would use to describe this sweet, sweet block!

Previous to this, I had never made a Granny Squares Block, whether in crochet or patchwork. It was those funny little triangle edges that always threw me off… I just couldn’t understand how this block was constructed to be able to achieve those odd angled squares and triangle-ly bits. It was only after a quick search on Pinterest, where I saw this simple picture, that I finally experienced that moment of: “Ohhhhh! That’s how you do it!!” It was legit a great moment and I immediately got into cutting and piecing my first block together…

My First Granny Squares Block!
My First Granny Squares Block!

I cannot express enough at just how quick and simple this block is to construct! It’s purely just piecing squares together (in the correct layout order), pressing the seams, sewing the rows together and then squaring the block up! So. Easy.

The reason why I’ve dived head-first into making Granny Squares is because of a commission I was recently ask to do for a friend. She has two friends who are expecting babies in the next few months and so asked me to make a baby quilt for each little bubba! This block will feature in one quilt and the other quilt is currently in the planning! Because both mums-to-be don’t know the gender of their babies, I’ve been sticking to a ‘gender-neutral’ colour palette of mint greens, creams, yellows and tans, with subtle, soft prints like polka-dots, little crosses and triangles. Some of the fabrics I’ve been using are from the Basics xoxo range from Cotton+Steel and the Hello Bear range by Art Gallery Fabrics. Both are such beautiful fabrics to use and blend in so nicely with each other throughout the other blocks I’ve made…

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So smitten I was (and still am) by the Granny Squares block, I decided to make a tutorial for my YouTube channel on how to make one!

So here’s how you do it!

Measurements and Cutting info:
This block is made up of x25 3.5″ squares. (You can cut your squares bigger or smaller depending on how big you wish the final block size to be!)
The block is usually made using three to four fabrics. (I’ve chosen to use four.) But can also be completely scrappy if you wish!
Of each fabric you will need to cut:
~ x12 white squares for the background
~ x8 green squares for the outer section
~ x4 cream squares for the inner section
~ x1 mustard square for the centre

FINAL BLOCK SIZE: 13.5″ squared (approx.)

Fabric bought from Kelani Fabric Obsession
~ Natural Unseeded Homespun
~ Cotton+Steel Basic xoxo in Mint
~ Hello Bear by Art Gallery Fabrics: Firefly
~ Cotton+Steel Basic xoxo in Mustard

I hope you enjoy making this block just as much as I have and are able to create a beautiful quilt with them for someone special!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

An Update from my Sewing Room…

Today, I thought I’d take some time out and write up a bit of an ‘old school’ type post.. One where I share with you all of the going-ons that have been happening in and around my sewing room! Just like the good ol’ days!!

First up, I’ve been spending my down time making this quilt for a friend of mine who recently celebrated a very special birthday! (I’m saying no more on the subject, just incase they read this blog!) Typically, I missed the deadline of their actual birthday to have this quilt finished and gifted to them, but you know, better late than never!

IMG_4195I found the inspiration for this one on Pinterest (where else!). The picture hit me straight in the face and I knew instantly it was perfect for this occasion! The recipient of this quilt loves the colour blue, so I riffled through my stash and found a mish-mash assortment of beautiful blues and mints with a mixture of prints, directions and values that would help add interest and movement to the quilt. I then paired these with a crisp white-on-white print fabric that make all of the blues pop and sing! All up I think I made about 120 5″ HSTs… I do love making HSTs but sometimes the monotony of trimming can be draining and painful! But after numerous cutting, piecing and trimming sessions, the time came to place the squares into place onto my design wall. I did this with no particular plan. I simply just placed them up ensuring similar prints and colours weren’t placed too close to one another. This did take a lot of back-and-forthing to ensure everything was working harmoniously!

TrioBlueHST

The way I chose to piece the quilt top was an odd and very laborious one. I literally pieced the quilt top together one square at time… What I did was divide the quilt into quarters, pieced each one together and then brought them all together to complete the quilt top! It may not seem that tiring, but by doing it this way, I was forced to press every single seam on the back flat open! It wasn’t fun and it slightly took away the fun and excitement of making this quilt. But hey-ho, I pushed through it and got it completed about two weeks past its due date! Oh dear!

However I must say, by doing it that way, I had so much more control on getting the points of the triangles sitting perfectly together! I don’t think I’ve ever been able to get such perfect point matches and seam nests/joins in any other quilt I’ve pieced! Some of these beautiful joins just simply take my breath away!! PerfectPointsSo now I have the quilt top hanging to the right of me whilst I find the perfect backing for it and muster the enthusiasm to baste it! I’ll keep you updated once I’ve basted it and starting the quilting!

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Next, I finally managed to finished my Tree embroidery that I took away with me while on holiday in Fiji! I’m not really sure why it took me so long to finish as I only had a few little areas to fill in to say that it was completed! I did share the finished result on my Instagram, but here it is again if you missed it, plus another showing the details…

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I purchased this embroidery pattern from Urban Threads – a great online source of modern and quirky embroidery patterns and ideas!

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Another thing that’s been revolving and considered in my sewing room is the decision to open my own Esty store! I’ve sold things I’ve made online before – for quite a few years actually – but wanted to find and use a new platform that would be and is more accessible to international shoppers. From what I’ve heard, Etsy has a pretty good reputation and is trustworthy and well known worldwide, so I thought I’d give it a go and see what happens!

At the moment, I haven’t anything for sale yet as I’m still at the planning stage of figuring out shipping rates, packaging and what it is I actually want to sell in my shop. I have a few quilts that I’ve made (or are half made atm!) that I would like to sell as well as some embroideries (possibly framed; still figuring that out!) and a few other things that I’ve made in the past that have sold well.

So stay tuned, things will be up and running fairly soon! (Hopefully!)

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Ooo!! Exciting times are ahead here in Sydney! The craft and quilting communities are getting ready for the Craft & Quilt Show to open next week!! Wheee!! This is like our version of QuiltCon or Quilter’s Market, where you get to explore, buy and be inspired by what’s new in the crafting and quilting worlds!

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Also at the show they have the Sydney Quilt Show on where they display all of the quilts to be judged for Best in Show and other awards for 2015. I’ve entered in quilts over the past two years, but decided not to enter this year for a few different reasons. But I’m excited to see what the quality is like this year. The quilts last year were the best I’ve seen yet!

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And speaking of quilts and fabric and all good things, I recently went on a bit of a splurge on one of my favourite online fabric stores, Kelani Fabric Obsession! Every time I click onto that website, there’s always something new and beautiful to tempt me to buy and I sit there trying to justify why I need it in my life!

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This time around, I did have a few good reasons why I needed to purchase some new fabrics… The first is a commission to make two gender-neutral baby quilts for a friend who has two girlfriends expecting! I love, love, love making baby quilts, so I said yes and immediately began planning what I would make! So half of the fabric I bought are to use in those two little quilts, while the rest of the order is to be used to make some special projects for my Esty shop! I’m so excited to get into them and get making some beautiful things for you all!

Oh, and I almost forgot! I uploaded a ‘Haul’ video on my YouTube channel over the weekend showing you everything I got!! If you would like to watch that, click right here!

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And finally the last thing I wanted to share with you is something I saw on Instagram this morning. It was a pledge created by Amy Gibson from the blog, Stitchery Dickory Dock. Called the ‘The For Keeps Pledge’, she encourages us quilters to pledge to keep the art of quilt making joyful, soulful, non-boastful and enjoyable! To see the pledge in full, click here to go to the blog post she wrote about it! I think it’s such a great concept for all quilters to focus on and work by, especially for me as I share so much of what I do online and with others.

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So that’s the end of the update! There is still so much to share with you but all in good time… ;)

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

My May Favourites!

Now that the month of May has come to an end it’s time to share with you my favourite things from this month!

one // Geo Dreams Quilt

Geo Dreams Quilt (2015)
Geo Dreams Quilt (2015)

Throughout May, I spent most of my time working on this quilt, made especially for my Quilt-Along-With-Me series. It’s safe to say, I’m absolutely in love with this quilt! The prints, colours and textures work so harmoniously together that I could literally cry at how beautiful it is! The completion of this quilt also comes at a great time too, as a bitter cold winter season has finally blanketed Sydney, allowing me the perfect opportunity to cocoon myself in this quilt and not leave the house!
If you missed out on the series and are interested in learning how to make a simple quilt, you can click here to watch the series playlist and here to download and print out the pattern!

two // Studio Ghibli Movies

My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service & Arriety
My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service & Arriety

There have been three in particular that I’ve loved watching over the past few weeks and they are My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and (especially) Arriety – a film based on the story of The Borrows. The animation and super-sweet storytelling in that one was simply awesome and I loved watching every minute of it! I really like the quirky nature of Studio Ghibli movies. They’re told in such a lovely way and can capture the essence of emotion – joy, laughter, danger and love – through the storylines, characters, animation and music! Perfection! :)

three // All Time Favourites by The Australian Women’s Weekly

AllTimeFavsCookBookI love buying and making things from baking books that are brought out by the AWW. This one in particular features some really great ‘all time favourite’ recipes that both me and my mum have been making over the past two decades (more for her!). Some of the recipes are simply mouth-watering: Six-Layer Chocolate Cake, Popcorn Butterscotch Squares and Lemon Butter Almond Slice!
I also really love how the book has been designed from the typography, photography, colours and the diverse range of baking choices!

four // Crossy Road App

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Now this is one of those apps you download and then find it quite difficult to stop playing! Similar to the old retro game, Frogger, you have to ‘hop’ your character over busy roads, flashing train tracks and raging river logs avoiding death! Along the way you collect coins to ‘buy’ more characters to play with as well as trying to beat your last highest score of how many hops you made before dying! It’s a really fun little app to play to procrastinate with or to simply take your mind off the mundane! It’s free to download but beware; there are in-game purchase options that can become a little pesky and annoying!

five // The Body Shop Vanilla Eau De Toilette

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I purchased this perfume in May and wore it almost everyday in May too! I just love how simply subtle it is; it’s not too over powering and the scent lasts all day on you! Vanilla has and will always be my number one scent to fall back on and I’m quite confident in saying that this one is now in my top five favourite perfumes!

six // The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector

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Now that winter has so kindly graced us with its company, my hands have been bitterly suffering! Cold, dry, rough and sad! :( But I find that using this Hemp hand cream leaves my hands silky smooth, soft and refreshingly moisturised! It sinks into my skin so quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy or oily feeling afterwards. To be honest, the scent isn’t quiet my favourite but it is warming and homey like, which makes it a-oh-kay!

seven // The Art of Escape by Hein Cooper

It’s not often I have just one song that captures me in the way that this song does. It’s so melodic, calming and simply beautiful to listen to! The lyrics are touching and deep and slightly out there – which I like! When I listen to it, it puts in a really calming mind frame and makes me relax and smile.

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If you would like to watch me chat about these favourites, then click here to see it!

Happy Favouriting, Friends!

xx

 

‘Quilt-Along-With-Me! Part Six: Quilt Label & Finish!

GET THE FULL PATTERN: QAWM – ‘Geo Dreams’ Quilt Pattern

What a wonderful day! You wanna know why? Cos it’s the final step in finishing our quilt!! Yay!!

In part six, we find out how to make and attach a quilt label so that we can officially say that our quilt is finished!

I think it’s super important to take time at the end and document all of the crucial details of the quilt in a label. It’ll serve as a great reminder of when the quilt was made, by whom it was made, for who it was made for as well as documenting the name of the quilt!

And the official name I’ve called this quilt is: Geo Dreams!

Geo Dreams Quilt Label
Geo Dreams Quilt Label

If you want to know a little bit more about quilt labels, how to make them, what to write on them along with the best ways to attach them to a quilt, I made this video and wrote this blog post about it!

As always I encourage you to make and attach your quilt label in the way that you know best and using a method that you find the easiest and/or most successful. You are always more than welcome to use my way as guide or for inspiration! If you would like to make your label as a hexie flower the same as mine but don’t know how to make them, here are two super-early videos I made showing you how to make hexies and then sewing them into a flower…

HOW TO MAKE HEXIES PART 1

HOW TO MAKE HEXIES PART 2

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Because this is the final part in my QAWM series, the full pattern is now available for you to download, print and share with your quilty friends! Yeah!! The link to this at the top of this post… (PS.Let me know if there are any typos or mistakes – it’s always best to get a second opinion about these things!)

Thank you so much to all of you for participating and supporting me in this series! Your words of encouragement and excitement has made all of the hard work I put in totally worth it!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Although the series is at an end, please keep sharing with me your photos of your  finished blocks, quilt tops, quilts or any of the stages you’re up to! Feel free to tag me on Instagram or Twitter at @3and3quarters, send me an email or share them on my Facebook page!

I’m going to leave you with a few of my favourite photos of the finished quilt I took in our backyard a few days ago…

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Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx