September 1st: The Challenge Begins!

HelloSeptember

A few weeks ago, I had a crazy thought…

At the time, I hadn’t written, checked or really had any plans of what to publish on my blog. Guilt set in and I thought to myself, ‘What can I do to ensure my blog won’t be neglected throughout September?’ Then the ‘crazy thought’ happen. As September is a busy month for me, why not set the challenge of writing a blog post every day during the month commentating, chatting, sharing and celebrating all of the good things that are happening!

So that what’s we’re doing! Every day this month you can expect a new blog post from me, giving you more of an insight into my life, my family, my sewing room and what I do outside of it too! The posts I write from day-to-day will vary from super long and wordy to short, direct and to the point. They may be all words, or just all photos.

Like I mentioned, September is super-busy for me right from the get-go! There are birthdays, special weekend celebrations, blog hops, quilt tutorials, shows in the city, a new job prospect and so many ideas to trap and share! And as an added bonus, September for us Aussies equals the start of Spring! Yay!! Goodbye winter worries, with your sneezy noses and freezing finger tips! Hello to glorious sunshine, warm breezes and colourful flowers in the back garden!

So, should we get this challenge under way?

Cheers to a happy, healthy, fun and memorable September!

xx

PS. This edit marks my 200th blog post published to my blog since I first started it in November 2011! Hooray!!

It’s Happened Again!

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Oh no! Twice this has happened to me. And twice I’ve had to let you know that it has been rescheduled!

What I’m talking about is the ‘special thing’ I was going to share with you today that I’ve been teasing all week!

An email came through this morning outlining that what was going to be released/announced today, has been rescheduled for next Friday, the 4th of September.

Although you may have no idea what I’m talking about, just know that I’m terribly sorry if you were looking forward to what I was going to share with you today. It serves me right for getting you all excited about something and then have to pull the carpet from under you right at the last minute!

So my friends, to know what all my secret sewing has been about and what the quilt I’ve made looks like, mark your calendars and pop by the blog next Friday to see what all the fuss is about!

What I will share with you today though is the block I used in the quilt as well as the one I made in the tutorial that will come out along side next week’s blog post!

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This is the Open Window Block. It’s quite easy to piece together and is wonderfully effective when placed side-by-side in a large quilt! But I’ll go more into that next Friday when I upload the tutorial for you!

Again, I’m so sorry to disappoint and keep you waiting for the reveal of this quilt etc. It really is a very exciting collaboration and I’m so excited to share it with you once the time comes around!

Happy Weekend to you all!

xx

Quilter: M.I.A

Hello!

Yes, I’m still alive! Still sewing. Still quilting. Still dreaming!

The past two weeks have been quite crazily busy for me, hence the sad neglect towards my blog. But all is back on track again and it’s time to give you an update on some of the things I’ve been doing/making/planning etc.

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First off, an update from my YouTube channel!

Oh, the Glory of the Ohio Star Block!

For ages I’ve been so intimated to make this block because of the quarter-square-triangles or ‘hourglass’ units along the sides. But once I did some research into the technique and found out just how easy and simple they were to construct, I’ve been churning them out like there’s no tomorrow! I’m now happy to say that the Ohio Star block has become one of my all-time favourites to make! Yep!

Another video recently uploaded was my Q&A video.

After asking for questions from you on Instagram and on my channel, I sat down and answered as many of them as I possibly could! Questions included: where I get my inspiration from, what are my favourite fabric ranges, when did I start sewing as well as what my favourite Disney movie is and what Adventure Time character do I relate to most! It was a fun little video to make and I hope I’ve answered some of the questions about me you’ve always wondered!

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One huge project that had been taking shape in my sewing room over the past week was one a little different to what I’m used to!

Making two 1950’s poodle skirts with double tulle petticoats!

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At my church, the PWA (Presbyterian Woman’s Association) held a 50’s night to raise money for one of the ladies in our congregation who is a Missionary in Niger, South Africa. It was a fun night with lots of dancing, hot dog eating, trivia questions, lots of laughs and endless skirt twirling!

I made a blue skirt for mum (her favourite colour!) featuring white spots and no specific applique design. Mine, I made a little shorter, in the same fabric as mum’s but in red. I also added a gorgeous felt Scottie Dog applique near the hem on the left-hand side. My 5 year old nephew gave him the name of Buzz.

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Both were full-circular skirts that took up about 4.5m of fabric to make! The tulle skirts were about the same, made up of a layer of soft bridal tulle and stiff nylon netting that helped to puff the skirts out. They were a bit of a handful to cut out, but quite easy to construct. All of the hassle was worth it though as the skirt was so much fun to wear and swish in! I can’t count the amount of times mum and I twirled around on the dance floor while listening to some awesome 50’s tunes!

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So what’s in the planning, I may hear you ask…?

Well, due to the guilt I feel inside for neglecting my darling blog over the past few weeks, I’ve set myself the challenge to write and publish a blog post every single day during the month of September! Boom!

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September is a pretty busy month for me so there won’t be anything short-on to write about! The month is full of birthdays, special weekend celebrations, shows in the city, the start of a new Quilt-Along series, the start of a new job (more to come on that very soon!) and so much more! I’m super-excited to share all of that with you and to also rise up to the challenge and chat with you everyday during the month! Whoo! Roll on September!

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Lastly, be on the look out for a very special and insanely exciting post on my blog tomorrow!

The past few weeks have also seen me do a lot of secret sewing that I’ve hinted a few times on Instagram… Remember these pics…

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Well, that’s all the hinting you’re gettin’ until tomorrow!

;)

Until then,

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

Let’s Hear it for the Minis!

So I was originally going to call this post, ‘Weekend Sewing’ or something similar to that, as most of these sweet little minis were started on a weekend! But I thought not. Instead, I chose to capture the flourishing obsession that’s been growing inside of me lately for making mini quilts!!

Let’s hear it for the Mini Quilts! Hooray!

The first mini that has come across my sewing table is my cutest-of-cute Pandamonium Mini Quilt by Fat Quarter Shop!

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Gahh! Isn’t she the sweetest?! I smile like a Cheshire every time I look at it!

I chose to keep as close to the true colours that are in the original pattern, using a few subtle print fabrics for the white and pink parts and keeping the rest as basic solid colours. I stuck to my ‘traditional’ version of straight-line vertical quilting, backing it with a black and cream floral print fabric that was the perfect find within my stash! (I had one of those, ‘Oh, I forgot I had this fabric! It’s absolutely perfect for this project! Yay!’) I then finished it off with a green binding, a lot like the one in the pattern.

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This little beauty now hangs on my bedroom door, where I pass it every day with a smile as it captures everything I love about quilting… pattern, texture, line, colour, shape, geometry and creativity!

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Mini number two: my Patchwork Pineapple Mini by Sassafras Lane Designs for Dear Stella!

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I’ve only quite recently become partial to the odd pineapple design or two, whether it be on fabric, on a t-shirt, in the kitchen, in ornament form or as a fun little quilt pattern!

I think I first came across this design on Pinterest. Then on Instagram. And then again on Facebook. I saw it as a sign and thought I should investigate it more… As soon as I saw that it was a FREE pattern, I knew then that I just had to make it!

And so I did!

Now I must admit, I did alter the pattern a little bit – I made mine slightly bigger than what the pattern says to make it. Instead of the finished mini measuring 8.5″x11.5″, mine measures 19.5″x27.5″! I simply wanted to make it a bit bigger so that it would fit the space I’m planning on hanging it. I think one day I’ll make it to the true size of the original, but at right now, I’m super-happy with the results I have with this one!

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I chose to quilt a simple design, echoing the patchwork squares that make up the main body of the pineapple. Now I just have to finish hand sewing the binding to the back, make and stitch a rod pocket to the top, give it a good press and then hang it into place! Yay!

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And the last mini that has been making my life happy and one that I’m pretty sure I’ve over-shared these last couple days/weeks is my Crown of Thorns Mini Quilt!

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I’m so darned proud of this little beauty and I’m so happy that you all seem to like it too! All of your lovely feedback and comments about it have simply blown me away, making me so thankful for such delightful and supportive readers, viewers and friends! Thank you!!

So I really hope you don’t mind me sharing a few more photos with you… This last one is where the quilt has ended up – on the wall above my sewing table, where I can admire it as I design, cut, sew, quilt and daydream!

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If you would like to make this yourself, you can check out the tutorial I made here!

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Have you been making any fun little Mini Quilts lately? Let me know! I would love to be inspired by you!

:D

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

PS. Don’t forget to enter my RJR Fabrics GIVEAWAY! Click here to find out how to enter! Entries close: Friday 7th August 2015!

Goodluck!

x

RJR Supreme Cotton Fabrics Blog Hop!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been having so much fun choosing, playing, cutting, stitching and just simply swooning over all of these beautiful Cotton Supreme Solids by RJR Fabrics in preparation to join their RJR Supreme Cotton Fabric Blog Hop today!

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As soon as I was asked to be a part of it, out came the quilting books and Pinterest searches as I dove straight into planning what I could do to show case as many of the beautiful colours in the range as I could! And once I clasped eyes on the Crown of Thorns block, I knew instantly that it was the perfect one to use!

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Now, the idea to create this mini quilt like I have was purely down to the fact that I couldn’t choose between all of the wonderfully vibrant colours I had available to pick from! I was like a little kid with a box full of scrumptious chocolates as I opened the Colour Card that was sent to me! As I unfolded and unfolded and unfolded the card, my eyes lit up every time at the abundant amount of fabrics lined up in perfect colour order. (I’m quite sure a big, ‘Oh, wow!!’ escaped my lips as well!) So because of that, I chose four different variants of four different colours in the range, from lightest to darkest, along with three neutral shades of white, cream and grey to help showcase my colour choices.

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To be honest, I had never used Cotton Supreme Solids by RJR Fabrics before, so I was eager to know what the quality would be like. And wow! Was I impressed! The fabrics are so beautiful! Super-soft to handle, the colours are insanely vibrant and true, they’re easy to press and cut and, the best bit, they sew like a dream through the sewing machine! What more could you ask for?! They’re absolutely perfect for any fabric project you could ever dream of making!

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I think the thing that I loved most about using these fabrics was the gentle softness in their handle. You know how sometimes you can buy those cheap, nasty like solids that feel rough and stiff and the weave is just slightly more open than it should be…? Well, the Cotton Supreme Solids are the complete opposite to that! They’re like luxury to touch and use, and feel almost satin-like between your fingers…Hmm, heaven! And because of this, they were such a pleasure to sew with! I found it so easy to press, trim and piece the fabrics exactly the way that I wanted without having any unnecessary fuss with fraying edges or unwanted movement when it came to quilting it. And it’s those kind of experiences that make quilting the best thing ever!!

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For the quilting, I chose to explore a design I had never really attempted before: the grid! I quilted the lines kind of off-set to the Crown of Thorns block just to add a little bit of interest and movement to the surface of the quilt. It also gave me a great excuse to put to use my new Clover Hera Marker and to see if all the fuss around it was worth it! (And it is, by the way!) Being able to mark my lines before quilting them gave me a lot more confidence in being able to sew a decent straight line while keeping the grid pattern perfectly spaced and even!

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Now, if you yourself want to try out these fabrics and see just how wonderful they are to use, RJR Fabrics have hooked me up with a Fat Quarter bundle with every single Cotton Supreme Solid fabric that I’ve used in my mini quilt to GIVEAWAY to you!! Yay!

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To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post with what you would love to make with these fabrics if you’re the lucky winner! The giveaway is open internationally and the most creative answer will win! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

And also, because I’ve had so much fun making this little mini, I’ve made a tutorial for my YouTube channel showing you how to make it!

Enjoy!

Measurement and cutting info:

To make the quilt top you will need to cut from the white fabric:

– x16: 5″ squares

– x5: 4.5″ squares

– x2: 16″ squares

From the grey, cut:

– x4: 4.5″ squares

And then from each of the 16 colours, cut:

– x1: 5″ square

FINAL BLOCK SIZE: 20.5″x20.5″ approx.

To make the rest of the quilt you will need:

– x1: 36″x36″ square of backing fabric

– x1:36″x36″ square of cotton batting

– 12″xWOF cream fabric for the binding (cut into x5: 2.5″ strips)

FINAL QUILT SIZE: 30″x30″ approx.

Cotton Supreme Solid Fabrics I used:

Optical White (33): quilt top and backing

Graystone (155): quilt top centre

Linen White (32): binding

Colours – from lightest to darkest in colour groups:

Banana Cream Pie (336) / Carrot (131) / Mandarin (159) / Chilli Pepper (49)

Meadowland (352) / Grass is Always Greener (347) / Aloe Verde (349) / Shamrock (109)

Pool Side (327) / Turks & Caicos (292) / Bora Bora (328) / Denim (106)

Hydrangea (214) / Opera Mauve (123) / Amethyst (215) / Grape (121)

May we just take a minute to appreciate how awesome some of the names of these fabrics are! I think my favourite would have to be ‘Pool Side’! It’s currently winter in Australia and I couldn’t think of anything better than being pool side, drinking up the glorious warmth of the summer sun and watching the light sparkle on the surface of the water! Ooo, heaven!

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If you’re keen on giving this mini quilt a go, feel free to share your results with me on Instagram, Twitter or on my Facebook page!

Also, if you would like to know more about the RJR Supreme Cotton Fabric Blog Hop and are curious to see what other quilters have made using these fabrics, check out their Facebook page!

A big thanks to Laura and the team at RJR Fabrics for inviting me to join this Blog Hop! It’s the first one I’ve ever been a part of and I’ve had so much fun playing and making with such lovely fabrics!

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Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

PS. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!!

Two Little Baby Quilts

I know I’ve possibly overshared these two little beauties throughout the past few weeks but I just wanted to wrap it all up by showing you the final finished quilts in all their glory before being posted to their final homes!

And aren’t they just lovely!!

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Words really can’t describe just how happy I am by how darling they’ve come out! Everything just works. The blocks, the fabrics, the colours, the quilting, even the binding and backing I chose to use. They all just work so well together! Never have I had a brief go so well and match exactly to what I was planning in my head! I love it when that happens! Yay! :D

So, shall we do a quick low-down of each quilt? Just so we can say goodbye together…

Let’s start with the Granny Squares Block Quilt.

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This was the first time I had ever attempted to make a Granny Squares Block. I had always looked at it and thought, ‘Geeze, that looks complicated!’ But after delving more into how the block was pieced together, I realised just how incredibly simple it was to make and I literally jumped straight into it!

You can check out the block tutorial I made right here!

I loved matching the adorable Cotton+Steel Basics fabric with some of the similar coloured Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF) that I already had in my stash. The direction and shapes in the prints added such a great depth of character, movement and sweetness to the quilt so much that every time I stepped back to observe it, a squeal of delight came out my mouth!

Then, the way that I quilted it made me fall in love even harder! I decided to do a grid-like-pattern that was sewn off-set to the squares in the block.

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To make it easier for me to get sharp and precise straight lines, I used my Clover Hera Marker to ‘score’ or ‘bruise’ my ‘to-quit line’ on the top of the quilt. I then simply followed this line as I quilted, resulting in this lovely even design!

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When basting this quilt, I also came across a beautiful batting that I’ve always wanted to use, but always thought it was too expensive to buy. The one that I was recommended to use by my always-so-helpful friend Bitza at my local Spotlight, was a bamboo/cotton blend batting made by Legacy that didn’t cost the earth or empty out the balance of my bank account!

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It was such a delightful batting to work with! Super soft to the touch, lightweight and dreamy, easy to baste and quite literally glided like butter through my machine! Oh. My. Gosh. I was in love! It’s going to be really hard to now go back to using an all cotton batting!

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To finish this little delight, I backed it with a darling lime pin-spot fabric and used the leftover ‘Hello Bear’ black spot fabric from AGF for the binding. It simply came out perfect!

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PinwheelQuilt

Oh. The Pinwheel Quilt! This came together so quickly and perfectly that I could almost cry at the ease of it!

I always love a good little pinwheel and I think they’re just so ideal for little kid quilts! They’re super-easy to piece together and are the perfect block to use up all of those leftover HSTs you’ve got floating around your sewing room!

You can check out the tutorial for this block here!

Again, for this quilt I used a mixture of the Cotton+Steel and AGF fabrics paired with an off-white solid. I also chose to incorporate another dominate type border sash around the blocks to ‘frame’ the main focus of the quilt.

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With this quilt, I tried my best to really ‘echo’ or be inspired by the shape of the pinwheel in my quilting. As you may know by now, I love to quilt my quilts using straight lines. And with this, I always love to challenge and stretch my self with the different ways I can do that by exploring direction, shape and density. I think you can really see that with this quilt, especially around the outside border and corners. (BTW: I love doing those little fan-like-designs in the corners, they look so Art Deco-y!) To help achieve the beautiful lines in this quilt, I again used my Clover Hera Marker to create lines in the right positions before quilting over them.

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To finish this little lovely, I backed it using a teal and creamy white stripe fabric and used a AGF fabric with little triangles on it for the binding.

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I’ve had so much fun making these gorgeous little quilts and I’ve loved sharing every single step along the way with you! It also makes me cringe-worthy happy that I’ve even inspired some of you to make these blocks and turn them into beautiful quilts for yourselves!

Thanks to everyone for all of your lovely comments and encouragements throughout the last few weeks when it came to these quilts! It truly means a whole lot!! :)

So now, let’s all say ‘cheers’ and wish the lucky little bubbas and mummas-to-be all the best!!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

An Update From My Sewing Room… #4

Woah! Talk about blog neglect! It feels like ages since I last posted! Safe to say, lots of busy things have been happening in this little room of mine and I’ve finally found the time to tell you all about it!

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First off, I took a day last week to finish one of the two baby quilts I’ve been currently making. It was this one with the little Pinwheels in the centre…

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Because of the design I chose to quilt, it only took me a few hours to get all of the quilting finished! Yay! And I just have to say, I absolutely love how it’s come together!

When I was quilting, I took the opportunity to use a special tool I had recently purchased to help mark and quilt straighter lines. It’s called a Clover Hera Marker. It’s an awesome little tool that helps to ‘mark’ or ‘bruise’ lines into the fabric so that you can either follow them, match them up with another point or sew over.

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Since using it, I’ve seen a definite improvement in my quilting and how neat my lines seem to be. If you’re having issues with quilting straight lines, I would 100% recommend you to use this tool to help you out! It’s brilliant!

Tomorrow I’m hoping to retreat back into my room and get the second baby quilt finished! This is the one with all of those super-sweet Granny Squares blocks that I’ve fallen head-over-heels for! It’s such a cute little quilt and I can’t wait to see what it looks like once finished!!

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During my ‘down-time’, I’ve been very patiently unpicking the horrible FMQ mess I made to my ‘Like Diamonds In The Sky Quilt’ sometime last year.

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When I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook, I had so many lovely comments from you asking what was wrong with it as you all thought it looked okay… Well, that was so super-nice of you all to say that, but to me, the stitching just doesn’t suit at all! It’s way too busy and ‘messy’ looking for the overall feel of the quilt. The squiggly stippling line clashes with the already busy layout of the quilt top and geo-print fabric I used and I now can’t stand the floral fabric I used as the backing! Urgh, what was I thinking! Nah, everything about it I just hate and it absolutely needs to come out!

So almost every night for the past week or so, I’ve been unpicking, unpicking and unpicking while watching either Game of Thrones or Studio Ghibli movies like Laputa: Castle in the Sky, The Wind Rises and Kiki’s Delivery Service! And even now as I write this, there’s still more to unpick! Phew!

But with patience and a good cuppa to the side, I’ll get there and I’ll be so much happier with it once it’s free and can be made into the beautiful quilt that it is! And also, in a bit of an odd way, I’m finding unpicking the stitches quite relaxing and strangely hypnotic… It gives me a chance to just sit and think about things while keeping my fingers busy… So it’s not all bad! :D

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Another thing that happened last week was the opening of my Etsy shop! Hoorah!!

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In there at the moment are a few Little Wallets that I always love making and usually sell the best, plus a sweet baby quilt perfect for any new little girl in world!

I have a few new Little Purses that are almost ready to go on sale and another little quilt that I only just started yesterday afternoon.

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I’ve even already got a name for it: “The Stash Quilt’, as all of the 2.5” squares have come from my stash of scraps! There are fabrics in there that I had completely forgotten about and swooned all over them as I pulled them out! I love it when that happens!! So once I’ve got all of these little squares pieced together, I’ll sash it with either a white or cream homespun cut at 10″ or 15″ and then get quilting it!

You know, I just had a thought… This ‘to-be quilt’ reminds me so much of those I-Spy Quilts that are made for kids! There are so many great little prints to search for and discover! Love it!

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And finally, over the past few weeks I’ve been working on a video tutorial that seems to be taking forever to edit and perfect! It’s all about how to make one of those simple half-aprons using just one fabric.

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The bulk of the video has been edited, but it’s just the little cutaway parts of the finished project and my speaky-bit at the start and end that need to be filmed and added. I just haven’t found the right time to get it done! Plus our internet is having issues at the moment, so uploading a high-def 10 minute video will literally take the rest of the year to upload! That’s how bad it is!! And I’m still also tossing up whether I need to write a pattern for it, as it could be possible for people to get a little lost in what needs to be done, especially during the cutting step… But apart from all of that,  I should have it ready to go up by Friday! (I’ve decided to change my upload day from Sundays to Fridays. I’ll be posting another video soon explaining why this is!)

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Now, I think that’s everything up to date in what’s been happening in and out of my sewing room…

I’m curious (and nosey), what have you been up to in your sewing/quilting/crafting adventures?? You’re more than welcome to leave a comment letting me know!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

PS. I can now finally share with you the little mini quilt I made using the block I made in my Diamond Square Block tutorial!

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During the past week I held a little giveaway on my YouTube channel as a thank you for 5000 subscribers, and this mini was part of the main prize! Sadly, the giveaway is now closed, the winners have been announced and all prizes are on their way!

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

x