January Favourites!

Every month for the past year or so, I’ve been publishing a video on my YouTube channel chatting all about my favourite things from that month. These items range from beauty products and fashion items, to music, movie and tv shows, books, sewing and quilting accessories, technological gadgets, food and pretty much everything else in between!

For the last few months, I’ve been tossing up the idea of not just posting a video about my monthly favourites, but to write about them here on my blog as well. So, starting with the first month of a new year, I’ve decided that that’s what I’m going to do! I’ll also post a link to the video version of my favourites so that you can either choose to watch or read (or both or none at all!) what I’ve been loving that month!

So with a cup of tea steaming quietly on my right, let’s get into what I’ve been loving in the month of January!

Taylor Swift – 1989

TS1989

Usually, my taste in music never really consists of the mainstream popular artists and/or songs. I’m more of a supporter of the local (and international) low-key, independent type artists. Although in saying that, I am a huge fan of Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith!

So when it came around to purchasing Taylor Swift’s super-hyped 1989 album, I was pleasantly surprised just how simply brilliant it is! It totally deserves all of the hype it’s receiving. (And never did I think I would be saying that about a Taylor Swift album!)

Not since I was a teenager have I bought an album and literally listened to it over and over and over again. And then do the exact same thing for the next four days straight! Each song has it’s own unique sound to it, catchy, emotional and dance-worthy!

I must also admit my growing admiration for her as a person and artist… The girl is talented in one of those hands-down your-argument-is-invalid type way. She also treats her fans in a way that I’ve never seen a music artist like her do before. She treats them like close friends; encourages them through tough times and celebrates their successes. And I like that.

Tumblr.

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I’ve been signed up onto Tumblr for a almost a year now, occasionally logging in, scrolling through and re-blogging a few things here and there. But over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself on there a lot more often than usual and loving it!

Who knows why this is – even I don’t really know why… To be honest, I think it’s just another online platform allowing me to procrastinate from the more important things that I should be doing on a day-to-day basis (i.e. eating, going outside, socialising etc.).

However, no matter how fun and ‘hipster-ish’ Tumblr may be, Pinterest will always be my #1 website to procrastinate be inspired by!

Nintendo DS Lite & Yoshi Island DS

Yoshi'sIslandDScover

I like to think of myself as a bit of a gamer… I like to play most video games and enjoy playing either on my own, with my nephews or my brother (who is like a pro when it comes to gaming!).

So when I re-discovered my old Nintendo DS Lite this month, I chose to play a certain game that I received for my 21st birthday from a friend. At the time I got it, I didn’t really like it and found it hard to ‘get into’. But after giving it another go, I absolutely love it! And the game in question is Yoshi Island DS.

Yes, I know this game was and is marketed to an audience of kids 7 years and over but I really couldn’t care less! I love these types of games. (Spotlight on the big kid at heart!) There’s little to no violence, no guns, no awkward sexual references and no bad language. It my kinda game. Fun, clean and challenging! And in saying that, do not let the thought of this being a kids game fool you into it being easy to play. It’s not. It’s really, really hard! Either that or I am just really rubbish at playing it!

Revlon Eye Lash Curlers

Revlon Curlers

As I’m slowly getting into the whole ‘makeup and beauty’ thing, I’m beginning to realise the better the tools you have, the better the result you’ll have. (The same principle can be applied to Patchwork and Quilting too!)

So when my very cheap pair of eyelash curlers were literally falling apart and hurting me, I made a trip into Priceline and bought a new pair. I wish I had done it sooner! The new pair I bought are a simple eyelash curler by Revlon and are so swish to use! They curl and separate my lashes beautiful and most important don’t pinch my eye lids! (Which is always a good thing!)

Boots Laboratories Optiva Aqua-Capture Serum

Boots Serum

This stuff is ah-may-zing!! I’ve been using it since just before Christmas, with it claiming to give me smooth, radiant skin in just two weeks. And it has!

After using this product for almost six weeks now, I’ve noticed a huge difference in the way the skin on my face looks and feels. Little problem pumps around the top of my forehead and my nose have long gone and I often surprise myself at how soft and silky my cheeks feels when I rest my head in my hand.

Sadly, I’m quickly coming to the end of the tube! *sob* I’m at the stage where I find myself squeezing the living death out of it in desperation to get the very last drop of this magical serum!

Must. Buy. More.

FitBit Flex Wristband

FitBit

Just like billions of other people in the world, I made a quiet little New Year Resolution to myself to try and attempt to get somewhat fit and healthy.

It’s nearing the end of the month and I confess, I could’ve done a lot more than I have. However, I feel that I have moved more and been a lot more conscious of what I’ve been eating than last year, before all this resolution nonsense began!

And I put that down to this: my FitBit Flex Wristband.

Thanks to this smart little piece of technology, I’ve been able to easily track the amount of steps and calories I’ve racked up each day and then instantly make me feel guilty for not meeting my required goals for the day! But not to worry, that just encourages you to go just that bit harder the next day! So it’s a win-win situation!

I also love how comfortable is to wear, how quick it is to charge, that it’s water-proof and the instant feedback of deets throughout the day. Perfect!

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So there are my six little favourite things from the month of January!

Did you have anything you’ve absolutely loved from this month? Let me know in the comment section below and we can digress together!

Happy Favouriting Friends!!

xx

TUTORIAL: The Chevron Block!

The Chevron Block

The Chevron Block

Oh, man! There’s just something real cool about the Chevron Block (Am I right!?)! I don’t know what it is, but geez, I just love this block! It’s simple, fast to piece together and is so effective when pieced into a quilt!

This is one I made in 2011 using the Chevron Block…

I called it A Summer Zig-Zag Quilt!

Summer Zig Zag Quilt (2011)

Summer Zig Zag Quilt (2011)

So here’s what you need to do to make this block…

Simply cut x2 5″ squares from two different fabrics (they can be contrasting, matching, clashing, be print vs. solid etc.) and then watch and learn how to piece it together in this video!

FINAL BLOCK SIZE: 22cmx22cm (8&5/8″x8&5/8″)

Here are just a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to help achieve perfect Chevron points…
When piecing together the HST units together, lay the diagonal seams directly on top of each other. (As shown in the video) Pin the two units together and carefully sew them into one row.
By ensuring that these seams are directly aligned with another on either end, you should have perfect points when you open the row out.

Always make sure you sew with a 1/4″ seam. I know I sound like a broken record saying to do this all the time but it really is essential to sew all of your seams exactly the same. If one seams is slightly bigger or smaller than the other, then you’ll begin having problems with matching your seams and points.

This is the most important one: Take your time! Don’t worry about making mistakes! Learn from what you’ve done wrong and simply try again until you master it! I know you can do it! :)

Two Chevron Blocks pieced together

Two Chevron Blocks pieced together

Have you made this block into a quilt? If you have, I would love to see a photo of your finished quilt! There are also some great Chevron Quilts to be found on Pinterest if you’re wanting to give this block a go and are looking for some inspiration!

Happy Sewing Friends!

xx

Classic Lamingtons

Originally posted on One Baker's Daughter:

Each year when Australia Day rolls around, we Aussie’s celebrate by feasting on the food that we’re well known for having… Big ol’ barbies, sausage sizzles, Vegemite sandwiches, meat pies with tomato sauce, ice cold glasses of Milo, a slice of Pavlova (even though it’s a dish claimed by the Kiwi’s!) and then, of course, there is the classic lamington! A simple sponge square lathered in rich chocolate icing and then covered completely in a sweet coconut crumb! Oh my!

Some versions of the lamington have either jam or cream sandwiched in the middle, but my little homemade ones are just the simple classic kind!

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe!

For the sponge:

  • 6 eggs
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 50g of corn flour
  • 75g of plain flour
  • 50g of self-raising flour

For the chocolate icing:

  • 500g of sifted icing sugar
  • 50g of sifted cocoa powder
  • 15g of…

View original 402 more words

TUTORIAL: The Hashtag Block!

The Hashtag block seems to be absolutely everywhere at the moment! And when I say ‘everywhere’, I really just mean Pinterest and Instagram! :D

So I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and make a tutorial showing you how to make this block yourself! Yay!

This is a great little block for all levels of quilters! It’s very simple and quick to piece together and is a wonderful pattern to be able to mix and match prints, colours and values with!

To make this block you will need to…

Cut from one fabric:
x3: 3″x9″ rectangles

and then…

Cut from a contrasting fabric:
x2: 3″x9″ rectangles
and
x2: 3″x13&1/8″ rectangles

And then simply follow the step-by-step instructions in the video to learn how to piece this block together!

The final block size should come to about 32.5cmx32.5cm (12&3/4″x12&3/4″)

The Hashtag Block

The Hashtag Block

And just incase you’re curious, the print fabric I used for this block is called ‘Memoir’, from the Alchemy Quilting Collection by Amy Butler.

Don’t forget to let me know if you’re going to make this block! I would love to know how you get along!

Happy Sewing Friends!!

xx

Sewing Machines 101

Over the last little while, I’ve been asked some wonderfully awesome questions all about sewing machines. With questions ranging from…

What is the best sewing machine to use when I’m quilting?

How do I use a walking foot?

Can I make a large quilt using my small sewing machine?

What are the best types of threads to use for patchworking?

How much money should I spend on a good sewing machine?

And so many more!

So to answer these questions, I made a video where I sat down and went through all of the basics things there is to know about sewing machines!

Now you may be thinking, ‘how is it that she knows all this stuff!?’

Well, for about six years I worked in a very well know craft/fabric store here in Australia called Spotlight. There, I worked in the fabric and haberdashery department where we also sold sewing machines!

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About twice a year, we would have intensive training days with sewing machine reps who taught us everything there is to know about sewing machines, inside and out. We learnt how to demonstrate and talk to customers about sewing machines, how to troubleshoot problems they were having as well as understanding what machine was best for a particular end use i.e. dressmaking, quilting, heavy duty sewing etc.

So because of this, I feel confident in myself and in the knowledge I’ve learnt over the years to answer these questions for you. I am aware that I do not know everything and nor am I ever likely too! I myself, am still learning about the endless possibilities and all of the little intricacies that my sewing machine has to offer and I really love that!

If you have any questions about anything I say in this video or are unsure of any features/functions on yours or are having any issues, please feel free to ask/comment below! I will try my very best to answer you as honestly and as simply as I can!
Also, if you have any tips or nuggets of knowledge that you would like to share with me and others, please comment as well!!

Happy Sewing Friends!!

xx

PS. If you would like to see a few fun little moments where I stutter, mumble, make weird faces and struggle with my words, then you can catch the Bloopers video right here!

Enjoy! ;)

TUTORIAL: Foundation Paper-Pieced Wonky Log Cabin Block

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Get the Pattern: Wonky Log Cabin Pattern

After lots of requests and suggestions to make this block, here it is for you to explore, fold, pin, stitch and rip apart!

So, I’ve approached this teaching of the block assuming that you have a fair understanding of how Foundation Paper-Piecing works. If you’re new to the technique, perhaps have a look at this video first http://youtu.be/R4jNa2zHLbU and then come back to this one.

This tutorial was inspired by this wall-hanging I made in 2013, that also made a few appearances in a few of my earlier video tutorials!

'I Heart Colour' Wall-Hanging (2013)

‘I Heart Colour’ Wall-Hanging (2013)

I called this wall-hanging, ‘I Heart Colour’ because of the nine colour-way blocks that are made entirely out of scrap fabrics. Plus, I also really do love colour and thought (at the time) it would be a perfect addition to the wall above my sewing desk in my new sewing room! (And still is!)

As always, let me know if you’re going to give this block a go and send me pictures of your blocks!! You can easily tag me on Instagram (I’m @3and3quarters) or send me a pic on Twitter, through email or on Facebook!

Happy Sewing Friends!!

xx

 

TUTORIAL: The Economy Block

What a better way to start the New Year than to dive head first into a good ol’ block tutorial!

Today we’ll be focusing on the Economy Block!

This simple little block is made up of one centre square with two sets of contrasting triangles sewn around it. It’s a great block to use up some of those larger scrap fabric pieces or perfect to make a fun I-Spy Quilt for the kiddies!

Measurements & Cutting Info…

For the centre
– Cut x1: 5″ square

For the first set of triangles
– Cut x2: 4″ squares (to be cut in half, resulting in x4 triangles)

For the second set of triangles
– Cut x2 5&1/2″ squares (to be cut in half, resulting in x4 triangles)

Follow the steps in the video to learn how to piece this block together!

Final Block Size: 24cm x 24cm (9&1/2″ x 9&1/2″)

Mix & Match with some of your favourite fabrics!

Mix & Match with some of your favourite fabrics!

Let me know if give this block a go! I would love to know how you went!

Happy Sewing Friends!

xx