Here’s to a Summer We Never Had!

One of the best feelings in the world for a quilter is the spark of excitement you get when starting a new quilt! It’s all about that instant thrill and buzz you get when finding the right pattern, mixing and matching the right colours and prints and then beginning! The first cut into the fabric, the first sight of a crisply sewn and ironed block lying on your desk, the feeling of triumph and satisfaction rising in your chest! *sigh* I just love quilting!

So obviously after that stirring paragraph, I’ve started a new project!! Whoo! Complimenting my addiction for half-square triangles at the moment, I found this very quick and simple pattern from work that we give out for free when a new range of quilting fabric comes in. This was for Denyse Schmidts’  Daisy Mae quilting range we just received, in which I swoon over and must touch every time I’m at work! You can find at Spotlight’s homepage, print it out and make it yourself!

Unfortunately, I didn’t use D.S’ fabric as I’m a poor art student and really need to start using the endless amounts of fabric I have stacked up all over the place (it was very hard to restrain myself from buying new fabric!). I chose a beautiful cool colour palette of lime greens and turquoisey blues with brilliant white homespun. Very summery indeed!

160 beautifully crisp and freshly cut triangles ready to be chain-stitched….what a beautiful sight!

I chose these four prints as each pair complete each other, the colours are similar and I love using different sized prints as they add movement and contrast to the overall look of the quilt. Plus I really like them….

Admittedly, at the point I took this photo, I hadn’t yet ironed my rows or stitched them together to finish it off, but I was way too excited to finally see how it had all come together and look so beautiful! Since sewing all those 160 triangles together, I was astonished at just how quick this quilt came together and at how easy-peasy it was!

Now that Autumn has arrived here in Australia, I’ve decided to dedicate this quilt to the summer we never had. To those who have no clue what I’m talking about, all it ever did this past summer season (the last three months and counting) was rain. I think we had maybe 7 or 8 days of the beautifully hot Australian summer sun and that was it – the rest of the time it rained. And still is. So here’s to a summer we never had!

And now I’m up to the dreaded part of basting….I hate basting! But I’ll suck it up and just do it as I know how ridiculously sweet it will look when it’s finished!

Happy Sewing! xx


Fast Days & Sleepless Nights…

Tired. So very tired.

Had a near sleepless night last night, thanks to a happy little frog in our backyard croaking away until 4.30am. If only I could’ve caught it and made it go ‘POP in the microwave’!

TAFE (Art School) started last week and it has been full on, hectic, challenging and fun. The days are flying by! Tomorrow in painting class where making our own canvas’ from scratch – yay! *Insert sarcasm* For printmaking we’re focusing on black and white relief/lino prints with the theme of ‘self-portrait’. I’m basing mine on a patchwork block self portrait by using real fabrics (spots and florals) ‘sewn’ in with a picture of yours truely! Easy to say, I’m very excited about where this idea could end up and the potential result at the end.

Amongst all the fast busy days and sleepless nights, I’ve obviously found the time to do some sewing! Putting the right priorities ahead of my Art School homework, I’ve completed my next two blocks (February) for my Craftsy’s Block of the Month and I LOVE them!!

It was a  little bit tricky getting the triangles around the right way according to the pattern guide, but I succeded and would definately make them again in another quilt!

A few blogs ago, I wrote about my love for embroidery stitcheries and I posted a-just-started project of a gorgeous little lion, that I sourced from Urban Threads. Well….here’s the finished little guy – isn’t he the sweetest!?

 I really enjoyed stitiching this little guy – especially around his tight geometric mane curls and moustache like whiskers….so sweet!

And last, but not least, I’ve almost finished my Cherry Retro quilt my BFF; quilted in one day and now awaiting for red and white spot binding and a loving ‘Made by Me Just for You’ label on the back….will attempt to do this on the weekend 😀

Oh, and one last thing, I recieved some beautiful Charm Square packs from Fabric Patch in the mail last week all ready for the next project. I bought ‘Half Moon Modern’, ‘Ruby’ and ‘Bella Solids’ all By Moda.  There’s a few ideas rolling around in my mind – the only issue is choosing which one to explore first!

Happy Sewing! xx

Lists, Basting, Blogs & Boys!

5.30am and I’m up thinking about what needs to be done today…here’s my list just to prove it!

I get great satisfaction writing lists of what needs to be done – a little OCD and weird I know – but I simply couldn’t function day-to-day life without listing down something! This particular notepad, from one of my favourite stationary stores in the world kikki k, has little circles next to the lines so you can triumphantly tick off what’s been done – my favourite bit!

Three things I love most about my list (and yes, this is how annal I am – analizing how great my list is!)

  • Although I work there, Spotlight is the first place I need to visit to buy more fabric (just cos) aswell as the basics – thread, needles and then more fabric….
  • I’ve drawn little hearts next to the things I can’t wait to get started on; begin quilting my best friends quilt and completing this months Craftsy’s Block-of -the-Month, in which I’ve choosen the most sweetest fabrics to use!
  • Five out of the nine things I’ve listed involve either sewing, quilting, fabric, cutting, piecing, thinking about quilting, thinking about future quilting projects and/or writing about it all!

Tafe starts back this week – I’ve enrolled in Diploma of Fine Arts and can’t wait to get started! Holidays are great at first – sleep-ins, DVD marathons, beach days, hanging out with family and friends, non-stop eating… But eventually a sense of laziness sets in and things get boring, you get restless and just want to get started already. That’s where I’m at at the mo – I just want to start!  

On the subject of bordom, when I am I sew!

So obviously I’m currently working on the quilt for my best friend and am now at the stage of quilting it. Yay for me for getting over the one thing I dread most when quilt making and that’s basting! I hate basting! I procrastinate so much over it when it’s the next step. I can’t avoid it – it has been done so I can move on to quilting then binding then finishing! But I got over my internal whinging and just did it! I put on some U2 tunes, went to a happy place in my mind and basted away! I suppose, just thinking now, it wasn’t all that bad as this quilt is only lap size compared to queen sized quilts I’ve made – and they’re definately the worst to tackle! Anyway….enough of my ramble. Here’s a slight peek at the finished quilt top….I love it may I say…

Since I’m still reasonably new at this blogging thing, I’ve been endlessly pouring over sewing and quilting blogs the last few days and have found some beauties! All I can say is that there are some awesomely creative people out there and I’m in awe of their talent! I encourage you to check them out and feel the inspiration!

  • Stitchery Dickory Dock – Blogger Amy Gibson is the teacher on the Craftsy Block-of-the-Month online tutorial I’m completing who is a great inspiration in her modern touch to quilting. I love her choices in fabrics, colours and pattern as well as quilt designs.
  • Ellison Lane Quilts – I only just discovered this blog this morning and at first glance I’m already inspired and overwhelmed by the quality of Jennifer’s work. Must explore more at a later time….
  • The Warped & The Weft – This particular blog has been created by the fabric Buying Team at Spotlight. I love having a quick squeeze at the new posts as they usually put up new fabric ranges that are on the way to our stores, along with some great links to fabric designers aswell as up and coming trends and developments in the world of sewing!
  • Craftgawker – Not so much of a blog per-se, but a great place to sticky-beak at what others are doing in the crafty-sewing world. Again I say, there are some awesomely talented people out their and I’m greatly inspired! Craftgawker also comes as an app for your iPhone (recommended!!) where you can indulge yourself in the crafty world during your lunchbreak, on the train, during the ads when watching TV, taking the dog for a walk – the list is endless!

More blog links to come when I find them!

So that’s it for today….I’m all ready to get into my sewing and start ticking off my to-do list!

P.S. I just have to share these adorable photos of my darling nephews taking on the weekend. On Saturday my family and I (Mum, Dad, older brother Kevin and his tribe – wife and sister-in-law Amie, sons Caleb, Ayden and Noah – and my other older brother Graham) went up to a beautiful holiday spot on the Central Coast of NSW called Port Stephens and spent the day at a beach called Shoal Bay. We had a great day with a picnic, crumbly sandcastles, runny half eaten ice-cream and lots-o-sunshine!


Caleb is 4 turning 5 this year, Ayden is 1 turning 2 this year and Noah is going on 7 weeks old….I love these boys, they make my heart sing! xx

New Projects, Rain & Green Tea

Right now, here in Sydney Australia, it’s the middle of summer. And yet, today outside my window, it’s pissing down rain! And has been all day!

This is my backyard pool. So alone. So deserted. So abandoned. *Sigh*

But, with a lemon green tea steaming away on my left, Daniel Merriweather’s Love and War album playing on itunes, let’s blog!

Two new projects are on their way…

First. A much overdue promised lap quilt to my best friend Dan. She gave me a great list of inspirations and themes she would like and it’s been fun and wonderfully tricky to figure out the best path to take. In amongst my piles and piles of fabric I have almost a full bolt of this wonderful retro cherry fabric which is just Dan all over and have always wanted to make her something with it the first time I ever saw it! I decided to teamed it up with some awesome coordinating spot fabrics; black spots with cream background and white pinspots with red background. I think the diference in the size of the spots will add character and dimension to the over all quilt top. (Plus I love putting contrasting prints like together – it’s very contemporary and modern at the moment). So at the moment I have only made a ‘demo’ eight-pointed star block, that will eventually become apart of the quilt, just to make sure the fabrics work well together. I think I’m onto a winner!

Second. Not only do I LOVE quilting but I’m a big fan of embroidery. Now, to clear the air, I’m not a big lover of crossstitch, but projects more like needle work and such stuff. Embroidery like this…

This one is a personal favourite and have terribly procratinated about getting it framed… I used almost a blood red DMC thread (two strands) on a medium weighted homespun-cross-denim type of fabric which has a fantastic texture to it.

This one is a just a sampler I’m constantly playing around with, perfecting newly learned stitches and brushing up on old ones… Here I’ve just simply used a mix colour pallete of DMC threads on natural coloured homespun.

And finally this one is the new project. Not sure for who or what yet. I just had it saved on my USB stick and came across it the other day and just fell in love with it. He’s such a cutie! Again I’m using natural coloured homespun and have matched two shades of browns for the body and facial features along witha vibrant orange and yellow as a contrasting colour in the mane. I’m so eager to get it finished!

So there we are for now. My green tea has been drunk and my Daniel Merriweather album finished after the second time around.

And, yes, it’s still raining….

P.S. A wonderful package came in the mail today – NEW FABRIC!!

I discovered a new Australian based online fabric store called Duckcloth. They have the most delightful and sweet quilting fabrics that I could never get at work. I was just like a kid at Christmas; ripped the packaging open in one swift tear and ohh-ed and ahh-ed at the wonderful delight inside. Plus, I got an extra matching cut of fabric from a particular range of fabric I bought for free!! SCORE!!

Another great Australian based online fabric store is Kelani Fabric Obsession. They provide fast, FREE delievery anywhere in Australia and have fantastic fabric for quilting, home decorating, kids prints and feature excellent Australian based textile/fabric artists like Saffron Craig and Aunty Cookie. Safe to say I’m a big fan! Check it out!

Craftsy Block of the Month

Craftsy Block of the Month 

Join me in The Craftsy Block of the Month!

‘Learn fun quilting techniques, make new friends and create a one-of-a-kind quilt with the FREE Craftsy Block of the Month! Each month, Amy Gibson will guide you through a specific quilting technique – half- and quarter-square triangles, appliqué, string quilting, paper piecing and more. Then she’ll teach you two nifty 12-inch blocks using what you’ve learned. Some are brand-new designs, others fresh twists on traditional favorites. Along the way, you’ll make 20 blocks from fat quarters, then assemble them into a throw-sized quilt.’

I’ve just recently finished my first two blocks for the month of January and found it so easy to make after watching Amy on the video tutorial.

I’ve teamed my blocks up with pure white cotton homespun (one of my favourite fabrics!) along with some retro and contemporary printed fabrics. I plan to use some of the small quarter and half metre cuts of fabric that I’ve bought and just added to my ever growing stash of fabric.

So being my first ever online class, I pretty excited about getting started and being involved in the conversation pages on the website and recieving feedback about my blocks etc. I’m looking forward to learning new techniques, especially sewing curves properly and what string quilting involves aswell as having a lovely sample-like quilt at the end of it!

I’ll post up my blocks as the year progresses aswell as all my other sewing and quilting projects. Gee, it’s not even the middle of January and I’m already busy planning and blotting for the rest of the year!

Happy Sewing!

Cheers, to a Creative New Year!

Before I begin: Merry (belated) Christmas and may you have a safe and very creative New Year!

So after a while away from my sewing machine and me, horribly neglecting my blog, I have made my return!

A few projects have been going down: I made a sweet little cot quilt for my third nephew, Noah, who was born 22nd December. It features a lovely jungle/animal theme and a simple square block pattern that incorporates different colours and prints. 

This photo is of the quilt mid construction and not the finished product – but you get the idea of how sweet it is!

Now that I’m holiday from my studies I’ve had loads of time to play around with some quilt tops, experimenting with line, shape, colour and texture.  At the moment both are unfinished but (I think) have potential to either be sold or even entered into some local quilt shows(?).

In my ever growing fabric stash, I have this full bolt of a very yummy, vibrant and juicy allover blackberry print fabric and I’m trying desperately to figure out what I can do with it! So here I’ve paired it with a plain white homespun and a matching green-on-green leaf print fabric and simply just played around with shape and line to achieve a sort of contemporary quilt top design. I’ve used the blackberry print as the backing and will possibly use it for the binding as well.

I love spots! Anything with delicate, sweet and ornate white spots with a contrasting coloured background I just adore! So rumaging through my endless stash of spotty fabrics I discovered these wonderful deep coloured spottys and thought they really complemented each other paired with some white homespun (you can never have enough or use enough white homespun!). I’ve began to sew 2.5inch strips of the spottys together to make a very trippy striped backing fabric and will finish it off by binding it with the greeny/teal spotty print.

I wanted to find the right kind of block pattern that would really show off the vibrancy of the colours working together next to each other and think the ‘Rail Fence’ design suits it very well!

So that’s it at the moment. Amongst all the festive prep and celebrating, I haven’t had much time to dedicate my time to my sewing machine. However, as usual, there are many more ideas ready to be explored and much more inspiration to be discovered!

May this year be even more creative as last year!

‘Purple Rain’ – The making of a Quilt….

So, a few months ago my cousin in the U.K asked if I could make her quilt…and of course I said yes…

So here’s a very quick way of how it was made!

Sally (my cousin) wanted purples and lilacs in her quilt, so I set off first finding the best block/quilt design that jumped out at me and gave me an insight of how to work and manipulate her colour choice. I found a great picture in google images of this quilt using shades of green blending in to neutral and white toned fabric. It was titled ‘Jungle Rain’ and it was exactly what I was looking for!

These are the fabrics I chose that I thought best suited and that Sally would like as well as the original picture of the ‘Jungle Rain’ quilt I followed from.

After figuring out all the correct measurements and cutting all the pieces, I started to assemble the quilt top by laying out the coloured squares, following my picture guide, from the lightest toned fabric up to the deepest. Only then I started to realise just how big the quilt would eventually be and mentally prepared myself for the task ahead…

Once I was happy with the placements of the squares, I started sewing! I added cream sashing to the opposite sides of the squares to make 15 long strips. This then started the process of framing off the squares, allowing them to stand out and make a bold statement on the final design of the quilt…

After sewing all the sashings on and sewing the strips together, I began to add the border to finish off the quilt top. Only now I could really start appreciating the graduation of colour and tone between the purples, lilacs, neutrals and whites. It’s easy to say that I was mega pleased with how it was coming on and just how awesome it was looking!

So now it came to the step of quilting I hate with a passion: basting! This quilt is close to queen size and it took all of my safety pins plus extras that had to be bought to baste this baby up! But with alot of persistance, patience and alot of cursing, I did it and started the mammoth task of quilting it.

I chose a really simple but effective straight-cross quilting that gave a tradtional and elegant feel to the quilt. And added great texture to the front and back!

Finally onto the finishing touches, binding, in which I chose to use one of the deeper purples to bring all the colours together and tie it all up and……ta-dah!! The finished result!

And the back…..which I think is as awesome as the front!

And that’s it! Now it’s ready to be sent over just before the cold winter months come along in the U.K….

Hello world!

Whoo! Hello World!

First day of my brand new shiney blog!

I hope to be able to share with you, the world or who ever wants to read about my rantings, my love and passion about all things patchwork, quilting, sewing, fabric, colour, pattern, line, embroidery, photography and even food! But mostly it’ll be about patchwork and quilting…YAY!!

I’ve read a fair few blogs over the years and find them great sources of information, attracting my attention to some awesomely talented people in this lovely world. Hopefully I can give some back to the internet/blog world and inspire others to take out their sewing machines, buy some beautiful fabrics and create something that they’ll always be proud of! Hopefully after that they would’ve caught the sewing bug and keep going!!

So, recent projects that are happening at the moment are I’ve just finish (literally only a day ago) a stunning quilt I made for my cousin in the U.K. She wanted purples and lilacs to feature in the quilt and I ended making a queen sized quilt titled ‘Purple Rain’. I’ll post a photo up in the next few days along with a photo timeline of the quilt slowly coming together!

Also in the works is a cute little cot quilt for my third nephew who is due Christmas Day!! I’ve chosen a sweet little jungle themed print and matched coordinating coloured spots, stripes and checked fabrics to accomany it – photos to come! xx