March Favourites!

A bit late, huh!? Well, there’s no time better than present, so here were the things I most loved during the month of March!

HOME by Peter Morrissey Vanilla Candle

HOME Candle

I love a good homey vanilla scent candle! They fill the house with a lazy comforting aroma that makes you feel happy all day! I usually like to burn candles later on in the day and into night as it makes the house cozy and delightful!

This particular candle is the first I’ve bought with double wicks. At the time of purchasing I wasn’t sure how quick it would burn through. But now that I’ve had it a while, it seems to burn in the same similar time as a single wick.

I’m not too sure what I’ll do with the glass dish once the candle has died. I was thinking of cleaning it out and using as a place to store random knick-knacks. Do you have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

Bourjois Limited Edition Vintage Blusher in 16 Rose Coup de Foudre (Love-Struck Rose)

Bourjois Blush

I say, ‘what’s a favourites list without a few beauty products?!’ And this one doesn’t disappoint!

Now to be completely honest and melodramatic, this blush has changed my life! It is so beautiful, petite and lush that I’ve been swooning over it all month! It’s this gorgeous shade of pink/coral that has a delicate shimmer mixed throughout. It’s quite a heavy type covering blush, so only a little on the brush goes a long way!

I bought it online through ASOS who, I happily discovered, have a pretty good beauty/makeup range to explore with some very competitive prices that makes this little Aussie smile! (Cosmetics are super expensive in Australia, so any place where I can buy at a cheaper price is fantastic!!)

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 006 Pink Blush

RimmelLippy006

Along with my sweet little blush, I also purchased another Rimmel lipstick. My excuse for buying it was that I didn’t have this shade of pink lippy in my collection. (As one does!) I find that I really like soft pinks like this when I want a makeup day to be really light, casual and minimal.

Pieces Akamo Bar Stud Earrings

BarEarringsCloseup

I’ve been looking for a pair of stud earrings like this for a good little while now, so when I was browsing on ASOS, I checked out their jewellery section and found these little beauties! They were super cheap and the exact colour I was wanting! Win! So naturally, I’ve been wearing them all month!

Fluffy Socks

FluffySocks

Autumn has finally set in in Australia and the nights are getting particularly chilly! So to keep my little piggies (my toes, that is!) warm, I’ve been snuggling up in these cozy fluffy socks! I find because it’s not quite Ugg Boot weather yet, these socks seem to do the best job at keeping me warm. Their soft, feathery nature makes it feel like I’m walking on clouds! It devine!

A Circle of Geese foundation paper piecing pattern by Piece By Number

A Circle of Geese Block

I’ve had a great month getting lost in some random and fun sewing projects, especially this block pattern by Piece By Number. It was a bit strange actually; I had this odd craving to get stuck into some foundation paper-piecing for some reason and remembered this great block I had made when I was doing the Craftsy Block of the Month with Amy Gibson a few years ago. So I printed out the pattern pieces, dug out a few of my favourite DS Quilts fabrics and simply got lost in the sewing process! It was wonderful!

Hot Cross Buns!

So March was Easter. And with Easter comes chocolate and Hot Cross Buns! And man, was I craving them! I’m pretty sure I bought over three packets of buns in as many weeks! And don’t worry, I did share them with my family but even that was pretty hard to do!!

The way that I love to eat them is heated to warm, with a good spread of butter and a hot cup of tea! Ooo, heaven!

BONUS FAVOURITE!

AVPM One other thing I absolutely loved throughout March was re-watching A Very Potter Musical, A Very Potter Sequel and A Very Potter Senior Year by StarKid on their YouTube channel. If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books I would very much encourage you to watch them! They’re ‘totally awesome!’

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So one month over and another has replaced it! Let me know of any things you’ve loved over the past few weeks! I would love to know!

I also uploaded this video chatting all about these favourites! Check it out if you wish!

Happy Favouriting, Friends!

xx

Other Favourites posts from this year…

+ January

+ February

‘Quilt-Along-With-Me!’ Part Two: Sashing & Quilt Top Finish

GET THE PATTERN: QuiltAlongWithMe – Part Two

Finished Quilt Top

Finished Quilt Top

Good Afternoon!

Welcome to Part Two in my ‘Quilt-Along-With-Me’ series!

Now that all of our giant Father’s Choice blocks have been pieced, it’s time to sash them together and finish the quilt top with a basic border edge! Hooray!!

In the following video, I walk you through the way that I like to sash, piece and press these elements so that I have my completed quilt top. By all means, I encourage you to do these steps in a way you most feel comfortable doing or in another way that you know best! My steps are simply a guide for you to follow if you need them!

Now, if you find it hard to follow along with the instructions in this video, you’ll find everything you need to know in the pattern sheet above. All of the measurements, cutting instructions and steps to piece the sashing and borders are there for you!

In the next video of the series I’ll be showing you how to make a pieced backing, we’ll be having a chat all about batting and I’ll go through the different ways you can baste your quilt so that it’s ready to be quilted!

Sashed Father's Choice Block

Sashed Father’s Choice Block

 Also, don’t forget to show me your finished blocks and quilt tops! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter at @3and3quarters, send me an email or share them on Facebook!

If you have any questions or thoughts about the block, the finished quilt or the series as a whole, please comment below and I’ll try my very best to help you out!!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

PS. If you missed out on Part One, click here and you’ll be taken straight to it!


In loving memory of my darling Lucy.

Lucy

I had planned to have part two in this series finished and uploaded on Wednesday. However the day before, Tuesday the 14th of April, my beautiful Lucy who was close to 15 years of age, passed away.

My darling brown eyed baby left my world while lying on the grass in our backyard. I was with her as she passed, stroking the top of her head and twirling her ears, just the way she liked it, willing her to wake up and be okay.

The past few days have been hard. Very hard. I cry as I write this, missing her sounds and her presence. The routine and the snuggles.

We buried her in the backyard, near the garden along our back fence, wrapped in her fleece ‘Hello Kitty’ blanket that I had bought by the panel at Spotlight. I used to call her ‘Kitty’ as she would meow for attention and purr when we would snuggle.

Lucy was a big delight in our family. She was only a small dog but had a huge presence in our home.

She will be achingly missed and will be loved forever.

x

‘Quilt-Along-With-Me!’ Part One: Block Prep & Piecing!

GET THE PATTERN SHEET : QuiltAlongWithMe – PartOne

Father's Choice Block

Father’s Choice Block

Hello!

Welcome to the first instalment of my ‘Quilt-Along-With-Me!’ series! I’m so excited to get started and I hope you are too!

In part one, I introduce the block we’ll be piecing together (which is the Father’s Choice block!) along with showing you the way I like to prep and cut my fabric as well as how I choose to make a bulk load of HSTs and how I piece and press my blocks.

Now, if you find it hard to follow along with the instructions in the video, you’ll find everything you need to know in the pattern sheet above. All of the measurements, cutting instructions and steps to piece the block are there for you!

A few facts about this quilt:
– The quilt that we’re making together will feature four Father’s Choice blocks, each one measuring 23″ (58.5cm)
– The blocks will be pieced together using a sashing technique
– The final quilt top will measure approx. 59″ (150cm) squared


I first came across this block when I was flipping through the book 500 Quilt Blocks by Lynne Goldsworthy & Kerry Green and looking for inspiration for this series. I had never heard of the block until it’s star-like nature caught my eye. The block featured in this book was a little bit too small for the type of quilt I wanted to design and make with you all, so I doubled the measurements, made a test block and fell in love!

Father's Choice Block

Father’s Choice Block

I was a little conscience to the fact that the piecing of this block could be a little tricky for beginners to manage. But once I made it and thought about it, I actually think this is a great block for beginners to try as it touches on some great basic technical skills that all patchworkers should learn and know. These include cutting basic squares, piecing and trimming down HSTs, basic forms of layout design (eg. learning how to make a four-patch unit), how to press units to achieve perfect nesting seams as well as how to manage piecing a large-ish block together.

{If you are new to patchwork and are going to give this block a go, let me know how you go! Tell me if you thought it was a bit hard or if you felt comfortable with the challenge…}

Also, don’t forget to show me your finished blocks! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter at @3and3quarters, send me an email or share them on Facebook!

In the next video I’ll be showing you how to sash all four blocks together as well as adding a boarder around the outside, completing your quilt top! You’ll find the pattern sheet with all of the information here once it’s uploaded!

Father's Choice Blocks

Four Father’s Choice Blocks

If you have any questions or thoughts about this block, the finished quilt or the series as whole, please comment below and I’ll try my very best to help you out!!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

PS. If you missed out on the Introduction post I published, you can click here to get up to speed! 😊

‘Quilt-Along-With-Me!’ Series Introduction!

It all starts today!!

(Although a day late!!) 

The first instalment to this series will be live later on today (Monday)! I’ll be publishing another post once the video is up that will have a link to the Part One pattern sheet along with a nice little written piece informing you on more about the block construction and what’s coming up next!

All of the pattern sheets will be available to download from here, my blog, each time a new video in the series is uploaded. Once the series is finished, the completed pattern will be available to download for free!

I hope that you’ll join me in making this idea a success!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

PS. You may be wondering why everything is running a day late… Yes?

Well yesterday (Sunday) I had a chance to catch up with some of my dearest friends that I hadn’t seen for the past few months. We chatted and laughed over afternoon treats and then had a lovely dinner together! It was a great day!

So this obviously resulted in a late edit and I unfortunately ran out of time to upload it on the day I said I would. But everything is full steam ahead today and I’m so excited to get the first video up for you to get stuck into!

x

TUTORIAL: Mini Snail Trail Block!

Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve shared with you just how much I love making mini sized versions of quilt blocks before… My Happy Quilt & Golden Trail Mini may jog your memory! And so today I want to take another opportunity to discuss and teach you how to make this one: the Snail Trail Block!

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If you’re regular reader of my blog, you may remember me making this little mini last year…

Start to Finish | Mini Snail Trail Block

July 2014

July 2014

It was my entry into the Sydney Quilt Show. I was so immensely proud of it. It was the first mini quilt I had ever made and loved everything about it. (And still do, actually!) At the moment, this little mini adorns the door to my bedroom. It represents my love for modern quilting, my love for pattern, texture and direction as well as the love I have for mini quilt blocks!

The inspiration for this quilt block has come from my favourite quilt book in my library, 130 Mini Quilt Blocks by Susan Briscoe. I pour through the pages almost daily, looking for sparks of inspiration or for a reason to simply start cutting up fabric and piecing together a little block!

So after a request and a genuine want to share how this darling little block is made, I created this tutorial for you!

Now at the beginning, I have a small little chit-chat explaining a few little tips that I think will help you when you’re piecing… Then I dive right in and guide you step-by-step in how the Snail Trail Block is pieced together!

If you would like to make this block here are the measurements and cutting instructions:

From the PINK fabric you will need to cut:
– x2: 1&1/8″ squares (for the centre four patch)
– x1: 1&3/4″ square (cut in half, resulting in two triangles)
– x1: 2&1/8″ square (cut in half, resulting in two triangles)
– x1: 2&5/8″ square (cut in half, resulting in two triangles)
– x1: 3&3/8″ square (cut in half, resulting in two triangles)
For the BLUE fabric, cut exactly the same as the pink.

The FINAL BLOCK SIZE measures: 5″x5″ or 12.7cmx12.7cm.

NOTE: I will just say that the more experienced you are at patchwork, the easier the block will be to piece together, obviously. But if you are a beginner, I still encourage you to give this block a go! Take your time, read the measurements carefully and never be afraid to make mistakes! It’s only through our mistakes we learn how to do things better!

So, I hope you enjoyed learning how to make this block and have been inspired to make it yourself!

Happy Sewing, Friends!!

xx

TUTORIAL: Jake The Dog Pillow!

GET THE PATTERN: JakeTheDogPillow PDF Pattern

It’s here! I’ve finally made the next instalment of my Adventure Time Pillow creations!

So, if you didn’t already know, I’m a bit of an Adventure Time nerd and I’ve had this tutorial on my to-do list ever since I did my Finn The Human Pillow last year in July! So I penciled it in and here it is for you today!

I had so much fun sketching, cutting, trimming, adjusting and making this project and I really hope you do too!

JakeTheDogPillow 2

JakeTheDogPillow1

JakeTheDogPillow 3

In all honesty, I think this pillow is easier to make than my Finn one as Jake doesn’t have as many features to attach as he does. So if you’re beginner in the sewing/crafting world and want to make one of these guys, try Jake first and make your way up to creating Finn!

And of course, let me know if you’re going to make this! I would love to know how you go! (And perhaps send me a photo?!) Also, please send through any feedback you have about the pattern if there is anything you think I need to change or tweak! (NOTE: I’m no professional when it comes to pattern making and writing, and I use no fancy software to create them either – just hand-drawn templates and Microsoft Word!)

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

That Time When I Went To Fiji!

If you’ve been scrolling through my Instagram feed, following my weekly uploads on YouTube or reading this here blog lately, then you might know that I’ve recently come back from a very long-awaited holiday/cruise to Fiji!

Over the past few weeks or so I’ve been promising to share with you some photos from my adventure and have spectacularly failed to follow through with that promise! So I’ve set today aside to organise, edit, collage, write and publish this post for you. (And yes, it really does take me a whole day to write, edit and perfect a blog post because I’m a hardcore perfectionist who pretty much needs everything to be perfect before hitting that Publish button!)

So I’m not going to bore the living-daylights out of you and document every single thing and every single port that we visited. Instead, I’m just showing you the highlights, the places that I loved the most and the cherished moments I spent with my parents sailing the South Pacific.

Lifou / Loyalty Islands

Lifou1

Lifou / Loyalty Islands

Lifou, a little island town within the Loyalty Islands was our first port of call. Both me and my parents have been here twice before but have never visited the little beach that is right near the island’s pier. For a few hours we drunk up the South Pacific sunshine, dug our toes into the cool white sand and observed the cultural uniqueness of it’s people. I didn’t swim at this beach but instead took the opportunity to film a few clips for my vlog.

Port Denarau / Fiji

PortDenarau1

PortDenarauCollage

Our first stop in Fiji was Port Denarau where our ship, the Sun Princess was anchored just out side of the bay. From the ship we were loaded onto a super-sleek catamaran and whisked off on a pre-organised tour to a private island called South Sea Island. As we approached the island we were welcomed with traditional song and numerous shouts of ‘Bula!’, which is Fijian for ‘Hello’!

There we did our best to avoid the horrid humidity by swimming in the crystal clear blue water, gently bobbing up and down while watching soft waves roll and crash onto the coral ridden sandy shore. We peacefully watched other people snorkelling, kayaking, swimming and doing their very best to conquer the challenge of the painful coral underfoot. (We didn’t think to bring along any reef shoes so we suffered painfully with them!)

The locals on the island then made us a big BBQ lunch and treated us to some awesome traditional songs and dances as we ate. (You can see more of this in the vlog at the end of this post!)

The time came for us to say our farewells and thankyous for their generous hospitality and entertainment. We all hopped back onto the catamaran where we were safely jetted back to our ship.

SavuSavu / Fiji

This was the only photo I took when we visited SavuSavu. The majority of the time I filmed for my vlog. But, apart from the thick humidity and looming storm clouds, I really liked this little town. The locals seemed friendly and welcoming and there were stalls upon stalls upon stalls of people selling souvenirs and locally handmade crafts. (I’m such a bad tourist, as I didn’t buy anything.)

Thankfully in the afternoon, we had a pre-organised tour to join where there was a very welcoming air-conditioned bus that took us on a short ‘sight-seeing’ tour of the town before taking us to visit a traditional Fijian village called Nukubalavu. As we pulled up outside we were greeted with a traditional welcoming song sung by the village elders, leaders and children. Our village guide showed us a few of their homes, chatted to us about their Catholic beliefs and then allowed us to tour their little Kindergarten that has been set up in their village for the children to learn how to read and write.

We then had the privilege to watch some of the villages do traditional dancing and singing, perform a sacred ‘Kava Ceremony’, weave baskets out of palm tree leaves and witness a man climb a very tall coconut tree!

Dravuni Island / Fiji

DravuniIslandCollage

IMG_3746

Dravuni Island was definitely the biggest highlight for me! It was the place that came the closest to what I had imagined a Fijian beach island to be like… Tall gentle swaying palm trees, cool crystal blue water, soft smooth sand and a laid back quiet atmosphere. Ahh, bliss!

We came ashore on a delightfully sunny Sunday afternoon (which possibly explains why the place seemed so quite and tranquil!) and had a look around the little Kindergarten and school that had been built for the local children before making our way back onto the beach opposite to where our ship was anchored. There we spent about an hour taking photos, relaxing under the palm trees and soaking up the experience of our last Fijian port.

Life Onboard

Folks&MeCollage

Folks&MeCollage2

Here are just a few happy snaps I took while we were onboard. We don’t really go crazy when we cruise… We don’t drink or visit the casino nor do we stay up and attend all of the parties (bore, I know!). We’re the simpleton type who like to read (or embroider in my my case) all day, do the occasional deck swim and sunbake, eat and drink tea as many times as possible during the day, watch all the shows and entertainment in the evenings and generally enjoy our holiday away from reality!

Photos from left to right, top to bottom – 1&2: Posing for photos with Mum and then Dad, 3: Selfie on deck before sail away from Sydney, 4: Sun Princess Atrium, 5: Mum and I having a silly-smile selfie before dinner one night, 6: Mum and Dad ‘relaxing’ on deck while anchored in SavuSavu, 7: Mirror Selfie in our stateroom, 8: Towel Toad sporting Dad’s reading glasses, made by our cabin steward, 9: Father and Daughter selfie in Lifou.

Home / Sydney, Australia

IMG_3735SydneyOperaHouse

BridgeSunrise

Unfortunately, like all things, our holiday had to come to an end. I had mixed feelings about wanting to come home… I just felt like I wasn’t quite ready to let go of that brief period of time where you don’t have to worry or stress about the realities or responsibilities of life. Yet on the other hand, as we begun the slow heading into Sydney Heads I couldn’t wait to savour the moment of gently sailing past one of the most beautiful harbour cities in the world. Sydney, my home, quiet, still and delicate, only just beginning to wake to another busy day. Honestly, the whole thing makes me feel all a bit emotional… My city, quietly welcoming me home in the gentle cool hours of the morning, the breeze whispering, ‘welcome back’ and the familiar sounds of cars, trains, ferries and planes soothing my suburban soul. It’s a moment in time that I will never tire of.

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As I mentioned throughout, I filmed quite a lot of the things I experienced and only just recently uploaded the finished vlog to my YouTube channel. So here it is if you wish to see more of my adventure!

Also, here’s a list of the filming equipment I used to record my holiday if you’re interested…

– Canon EOS 600D DLSR
– Canon SX280 HS PowerShot
– iPhone 5
Camalapse
Hyperlapse app

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So that’s just the brief lowdown of my holiday/cruise to Fiji! I enjoyed every moment and will cherish this time I was able to spend with my parents for the rest of my life!

xx