May 23rd: It’s Giveaway time!!! (CLOSED)

Hello Friends!

I’m so sorry I didn’t write and publish a post yesterday! It was such a hectic day getting assignments finished! (I also wasn’t feeling too well either. ūüė¶ The winter chills and sniffles have set in!)

But I’m hoping I can be forgiven by announcing it’s GIVEAWAY TIME!! Whoo!!

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As a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have read, commented and followed along in my Everyday May series, I wanted to give something special back to show you how much I appreciate you all!!

So this is what I’m giving away… It’s nothing too big or over the top as I have to keep postage charges in mind! ūüėÄ

EverydayMayGiveaway

The lucky winner will receive a copy¬†of one of my favourite patchwork and quilting books, The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman as well as two delightful little ‘Flat Fats’ (or fat quarters)¬†featuring two fabrics from the Koala-ty Time range from Spotlight!

So to enter, all you need to do is comment below mentioning what your favourite patchwork, quilting, sewing or crafting book is and why!*

**Entries have now closed.**

Now I know we still have another week or so left for the month but I wanted to give everyone a real good chance to see this post and be able to enter!

Best of Luck!!

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!

xx

*All International entries are welcome too!!

ūüôā

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May 21st: Not Worth Reading…

Let’s be honest, today’s post really isn’t worth reading…

The day had literally flown by with me barely keeping up!

The day started with an early rise and drive to the flower markets with mum where I bought flowers for class this week. Lots of beautiful natives, a whole tonne of big Hot House Chrysanthemums and a few odds and sods to get me by. (I’ll show you more during the week on Instagram!)

Home just before lunch where I dived straight into a never-ending list of homework tasks and assessments! Urgh!

Then tonight at my church, the PWA put on a Roaring 20’s night where all the ladies were dressed up like sparkling dames and the men all in sharp crisp suits. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures – sorry! I was enjoying myself too much to have my phone out! ūüôā

So now the end of the day is here and I’ve come up short on a blog post. I actually had planned to write a post all about my growing garden of succulents and ferns but obviously that hasn’t happened! I’ll see what I can do tomorrow to bring that to you! I’m super proud of the little garden my dad and I have going at the moment!

So apologies for a post that really wasn’t worth reading… No photos or fancy words of inspiration today. Just the cold hard sting of reality. Oi I’m tired. And when I do, I get all weird and philosophical just like that odd sentence about reality…

Must. Sleep.

Goodnight, Friends!

xx

PS. Thanks for all of your feedback about my Simple Cross Quilt yesterday! I’m gonna do it! 20 block quilt here I come!

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May 20th: Simple Cross Quilt Progress!

Current obsession: making as many Simple Cross blocks as I can in one day! Today’s record is five in one afternoon! Woo!

5SimpleCrosses

This has become quite an unexpected Work-In-Progress that I’m thoroughly enjoying! I love rummaging through my basket of solid fabrics and choosing the next bright colour to work with and then matching it with a fab print fabric!

SimpleCrossQuiltProgress(9blocks)

I can’t decide whether to keep it as a simple nine block lap quilt (as it is now) or to keep adding more blocks to it turning it either into a 16 block quilt or a 20¬†to¬†24 block mega quilt! What do you think?? I would love your opinion! Currently the quilt top measures: 32″ (82cm) squared without the blocks being pieced together…

To be honest, I really wouldn’t mind turning it into a 20 to 24 block quilt… The block is super simple and deadly quick to cut and whip up. And goodness knows I have enough fabric to do the job! Even now I have a bunch of print fabrics in mind that could go so well with the rest of the aesthetic this quilt top has going for it! Yay! Such fun!

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Looking forward to hearing your suggestions!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

(PS. Yippee for the start of the weekend again!)

May 19th: A Fab Week with Flowers!

Just a quick one today!

I wanted to share with you a few of the designs I made in class this week… I’ve had such a wonderful week at Floristry school! It’s one of the first times since I started when I didn’t want the week to end because I was enjoying what I was doing so much! I just wanted to keep playing!

Something seemed to click this week where I finally felt confident in my new found skills and noticed a rising passion for the art of floristry flourishing deep inside! (Corny, I know!)

This week we focused a lot on wedding bouquets and posies which are so fun and beautiful to make! Monday we had an assessment for a design called a Formal Hand-Tied Wedding Posy.
Packed full of even distributed flowers with a closed form (meaning no to very little negative space) and natural stems.

HandTiedFormalWeddingPosy

HandTiedFormalWeddingPosy2The second assessment was the informal version of the Hand-Tied Wedding Posy. The difference with this one is that there should be lots of negative space with materials placed high and low as well as placed in groups e.g. grouping of roses, carnations, foliage etc. This design should also take on a more vegetative effect which means the materials¬†should look like they’re¬†growing in a natural way.

HandTiedInformalWeddingPosy

HandTiedInformalWeddingPosy2

The other assessment ticked off the list was the Informal Trail Wedding Bouquet. Although it did take about 2 hours to assemble, this one was slightly less stressful to make compared to the Formal version pictured below!

Formal Wired Posy
Formal Wired Posy

The Informal Trail Bouquet is a lot less structured, has lots of negative space and incorporates the use of line materials to carry colour and texture from one side to the other. The design is fully wired, which means all of the stems are cut off at the head of the flower, then wired and parafilmed. Materials then can be moved, bent, shaped and manipulated in any way you wish to achieve the design you want! This is sometimes easier said than done!

From the Front
From the Front
From the Back
From the Back

I really can’t stop looking at this design! I love all of the flowers and foliages I used and love the texture the pink/maroon Tea Tree sprays brings to the overall effect! So pretty!

Each of these designs are always finished off with a ‘ribboned’ handle which can either be ribbon, jute/hessian, lace, decorative ribbons, doilies or even natural materials like bark or big modern-type leaves. With the top two designs, I finished them off using a 20mm jute ribbon and bow and then used a lovely white satin ribbon on the last one.

HandTiedFormalWeddingPosy3

It’s only three weeks until I finish my course and I’m trying my best to savour every minute – especially now that I’m really, really, really enjoying it!!

Happy Thursday, Friends!!
xx

May 18th: The Name Origin of 3and3quarters!

So a request came in from one of my fabulous regular readers, Sharon (go check her blog out!) to share with you the origins of my blog’s name – 3and3quarters. I really can’t remember if I’ve shared the story behind it… It’s nothing too long or complicated or philosophical… Just a name that stood out and felt right!

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**Flash Back to mid 2011**

As you may already know, I used to work at Spotlight in the Dress department, where I would listen¬†to numbers and measurement requests and cut fabric all day long. I’d have so many different combinations of measurement requests thrown at me (in the nicest way possible of course!) from one-and-a-half-metres to two-and-a-quarter-metres so and so forth. So as I was brainstorming for a name to call a blog and online store I was hoping to set up, I kept coming back to the notion of naming it around a measurement. I thought it would be highly appropriate as what I do (quilting and sewing) is heavily based around numbers and measurements etc. So when I went through in my head the measurements that I was continually hearing at work,¬†three-and-three-quarters struck a chord. I loved how it seemed to roll off my tongue and how it had a bit of an alliteration under-tone to it. It also seemed like a great name that wouldn’t be so easily forgotten!

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Me in 2011!

So once the name was chosen, the real tricky bit I had was deciding on how to write the name out:

threeandthreequarters

three&threequarters

3&3quarters

3and3quarters – bingo!

And then from there, I worked up the guts to register for a blog domain and then wrote and published my first-ever post!

Since then, there have been lots of different updates and re-designs of my logo and blog layout as well as the gain of so many new quilty friends!! Yay!

Here are a few ways things have changed over the years…

The top logo banner at the beginning is a fashion drawing of a girl I drew up during my ‘inspired to be fashion designer’ phase! Happily the phase didn’t last as I would’ve been a rubbish fashion designer! I’d instantly crumble under the pressure! The quilt in the background of that picture is the Rail Fence Quilt I showed you in My Quilt Collection video earlier this year.

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The last three banners were made on one of my favourite online photo editor websites called Pic Monkey! The site has some great tools to edit photos with as well a handy platform to make your own designs and creations from scratch!

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So that in a nut shell is how the name, 3and3quarters came about! I think it’s been working well over the years and people are beginning to associate the name with the things that I do online (which is very exciting!).

I’m curious… How did you come to find me and my blog? Was it through my YouTube channel? Instagram? Pinterest? A friend or favourite blogger? I would love to know!

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I hope you’re all having a lovely week!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

May 17th: Mini Thread Spool Block Tutorial!

Today I woke up and was inspired to make a block tutorial for my YouTube channel!

Whether it was actual inspiration or a form of ‘YouTuber Guilt’ as I haven’t¬†uploaded in awhile, I don’t know! But I put my head down and bum up and got into creating! And I’m so happy I did! There’s nothing like a good sewing session to soothe away the stresses of life!

So because time is quite limited for me at the moment, I stuck to a relatively quick and simple block to both cut and piece together. So when in need of a block like this, I always turn to my fab 130 Mini Quilt Blocks book by Susan Briscoe! There I found the inspiration to make a Mini Thread Spool block.

I’ve had an idea for a possible quilt design centring around the Spool block. The one I have in mind isn’t quite as small as this one and is slightly different in design. But I wanted to give this one a¬†go just to see where I could take the design in my head and how to make it into a reality! (Stayed tuned for that one!)

But how adorable is this mini block though!? I’m so delighted at the size of it – it’s super cute!! I’m so keen to make more and then piece them together into a really sweet mini quilt to hang in my sewing room (that’s if I can find anymore room on the walls!!). ūüėÄ

Here’s how to make one yourself…

MEASUREMENT & CUTTING INFO:

Cut –
x1: 3.5″ square from a stripe fabric
x2: 5.5″x1.5″ rectangles from a dark or contrasting fabric (spool ends)
x2: 3.5″x1.5″ rectangles from a background fabric
x4: 1.5″ squares from a background fabric

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

FINISHED BLOCK SIZE: 5.5″x5.5″ squared

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As always, don’t forget to share with me your finished blocks! Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter are the best ways to do this!

Happy Sewing, Friends!!

xx

May 16th: A Few More Useful Tools & Notions!

As I sing out loud along to John Mayer’s song, ‘No Such Thing(*sings* I wanna run through the halls of my high school. I wanna scream at the top of my lungs!), here are a few more tools and notions that I find super useful when I’m sewing and quilting!

Let’s start by talking binding clips…

BindingClips&Thumble
Tin by Belle & Boo

When I’m binding my quilts, I use these little guys that look similar to the clips you use in your hair to hold it into place. I find that they’re so easy to snap open and close as I go along when I’m hand-stitching the binding to the back of the quilt. And although I haven’t had the opportunity to use them yet (Can you believe it’s almost half-way through the year and I still haven’t made a quilt yet! 2016 quilts are going to be a rare oddity I think!!), I was given a packed jar full of some craft clips from a friend that I think will be absolutely perfect to use for holding the binding into place. I’m so keen to use them! Must. Get. Quilting. Pronto!

CraftClips&Thumble

The other little notion I love to use when I’m stitching on binding is that little yellow thumble. Called such as it sits on your thumb much like a thimble would on your finger and you use it to push your needle through thick layers of fabric. Many a times has this genius little tool saved my poor thumb from bloody stabs and week-long soreness!

These next few¬†things I find really useful when I’m doing tricky cutting and squaring up block units.

Ruler&Blade

RotatingMat

The 4.5″ set square ruler is great for squaring up those pesky HSTs (as you would’ve seen numerous times in my YouTube tutorials), while the 18mm rotary blade is the perfect size for trimming as well as for cutting tight curved lines and corners. (Fab for cutting Drunkard Path unit pieces!) The Olfa Rotating Mat is super useful when you need to be really precise with how you cut your units and blocks. It pretty much just eliminates the step of having to turn the unit around to trim down the opposite side.

Applique! A wonderfully elaborate (at times!) and effective technique to add a little omph to any sewing project!

HeatnBond

When I’making a project that involves applique (usually the raw-edge technique), I always turn to this stuff called HeatnBond Lite. Not only is it a great price (about $8 per metre from Spotlight), it’s so easy to use and never lets me down. Using the right application (warm-to-hot iron, no steam), it never peels away from the fabric once it’s been applied and can be easily sewn through either with the sewing machine or by hand. I use this all the time to fix my quilt labels into place before embroidering around the edge.

If you would like me to do a tutorial based around using this product, let me know and I’ll start planning something fun for us to make together!

And last but not least, never the underestimate the need of having a good solid hammer in your kit!

Hammer

On many occasion has¬†this hammer come in handy, especially when something just needs a good whack to get it into place. What I mean by this is when I’m making my Little Wallets and need to get the snap fastener securely into place! ūüėÄ Super useful too when your hanging new art or a wallhanging on the wall!

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I hope this second post about other useful tools and notions has inspired or been helpful in some way!

It can be truly mind-boggling at just how many different things one can have in and around their sewing space that helps to make the process of making a quilt easier! I’m sure my little list of tools and notions barely scratches the surface!

Wishing you all a Happy Monday!

xx

May 15th: My Top 7 Most Useful Tools & Notions

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Hello!

I hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday!

So I had a great request from one of you guys a few days ago to share with you a few of the¬†notions and tools that I find to be¬†the most useful when I’m sewing and quilting.¬†A few of them I have shared before, but if you’re new to these parts, I hope you find the following helpful!

First off are these two awesome little tools from Clover.

TracingWheel&FingerPresser

Both of these I find super useful when I’m paper-piecing. I use the Serrated Tracing Wheel to perforate the lines on¬†the paper before sewing over them. Doing this also helps to tear the paper away from the seams and fabrics at the end. The other tool is called a Finger¬†Presser and I use this to quickly press the seams open all throughout the construction of a paper-pieced block instead of using the iron. For me, it saves so much time on going back and forth to the ironing board and also saves my poor little fingers from getting burnt! Ouchies!

Next up is another Clover product called a Hera Marker.

HeraMarker

As strange and weird as it looks, this little tool is so awesome and very useful to use for us quilters. Because I mainly incorporate straight lines all throughout my quilting, I use a Hera Marker and a long quilting ruler to mark out clear, even lines onto the quilt top that I then simply sew over, achieving a (almost) straight quilted line!

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Since using this tool, I’ve seen a huge improvement in my quilting! Everything just looks so more consistent and pro-fesh, sky-rocketing my confidence by a mile!

The next two things I like to see as more everyday-type useful tools.

SeamRipper&Snips

The Fiskars thread snips would have to be¬†one of the best little scissors I’ve ever used! They cut through thread like butter and have a little tapered like point that elevates the blade away from the surface of the fabric but is still able to make the closest of cuts when trimming away thread! It really is like magic!

Ahh, the seam ripper. Where would we be without one! And just like all of the other Clover products, this one doesn’t disappoint! It’s light and easy to hold and rips through the toughest of mistakes like it’s no bodies business! It’s a fab little tool and I know I can rely on it to fix some of the worst mistakes I can ever dream of making!

This is my tape measure…

TapeMeasure

I have it sitting on my desk and I would say that I reach for it at least five times during one day! Whether that be for answering your questions, figuring out size scales for patterns and blocks as well as playing with it when I’m bored or procrastinating! My nephews also love playing with it too! ūüėÄ

I particularly find this one useful as it has centimetres on one side and inches on the other. Because I use both of these types of measurements in my quilting, it’s so helpful to turn to it and quickly figure out what 5″ is in centimetres! (It’s about 12.5cm if you’re curious!) ūüėÄ The tape measure is also super long, measuring up to 120″ (300cm) which is helpful when figuring out how much batting and backing fabric one needs to finish a quilt!

And last of all is a tin of basting pins.

BastingPins

I don’t usually baste my quilts with pins but when I do I find these ones super helpful! This is because they have a slight bend to them almost acting like a hook as you pierce them through the three layers of the quilt. They close nice and quickly and also undo almost instantly as you’re quilting along on your machine. This particular set of pins I bought from Spotlight and are by a Australian haberdashery company called Birch.

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So there are just a few of my top tools and notions that first came to mind to share with you!

In tomorrows post I’ll go through a few more that didn’t quite make the top seven! ūüôā

Do you have any top fave tools and notions that you find useful when your sewing and quilting? Let me know!

Happy Sewing, Friends!!

xx

May 14th: Visiting the Sydney Flower Markets!

Since starting my Floristry course a few months ago, I’ve been visiting the Sydney Flower Markets¬†early most Saturday mornings to buy my flowers for class the follow week.

To be honest, for a while there I was so intimidated by the place that I really struggled with the thought of going each week. It’s a pretty hectic place to visit when you’re not used to packed market conditions and very busy people rushing about! I’m not all that good with crowds and quite intense busy environments! However, with each visit I get under my belt¬†I’m getting just that little bit more experienced and confident in what to buy and how to face the busy madness of the place!

On today’s flower run, I was happily accompanied by a good friend, Sam, who I’ve known since high school. Together we perused all of the different stalls, discussed colour choices and plant names, swooned over pretty flowers and then spent a fair good amount of money on them! (Well I definitely did anyway!)¬†

Amid all of that, I even managed to get a few snaps to show you what was at the market this morning!

FlowerMarketNatives
Pretty Natives!
ChoosingColours
Matching & Choosing Colours!

¬†I really can’t believe that I’ve only got a few more weeks of shopping as a student and then it’s on to the ‘real thing’! (What ever the ‘real thing’ will actually be!)¬†Time has flown by so quickly and I’m not sure whether I’m ready to leave the comfort of my classes and ever-knowing, lovely teachers!

Also, I never thought I’d say it but I’m actually gonna miss making the trip into markets each weekend and getting what I need for class the follow week. It’s that concept of innocence you still have as a student… You’re still in that learning phase where you’re discovering new flowers and plants in class and then seeing them for sale at the market! (Always¬†exciting!) And then there’s that moment when you bring your haul of flowers home and really connect and discover their beauty!

(Whoa! I’m talking like a real Florist now! OooOoo!)

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Wishing you all a lovely, lovely weekend!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

May 13th: Quilt-Along Poll Results!

Last week I wrote a post about gathering some ideas and feedback for the¬†next Quilt-Along series I’ll be doing later on in the year. Stuck on what I should do, I created a poll with a few ideas that I had floating around my head and asked you to help me with my decision!

Well, the results of that poll are in and there’s a clear winner!

QALPollResults

The next QAL series will be a Star Block Sampler! Yay!

I also received some other great ideas for future QALs like doing one from Charm Packs, another using House blocks as well as using Civil War Era Blocks to make a wallhanging! What fab ideas to take on board and brainstorm with!

Thank you to everyone who voted and forwarded on their suggestions! It has helped so much!

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So planning for the Star Block Sampler QAL has officially begun and very conveniently, I found this awesome reference chart on Pinterest of some wonderful star blocks!

SOURCE: Pinterest
SOURCE: Pinterest

There are a few in there that I would love¬†to make¬†in the QAL! They include¬†the Maple Star, Crown and Star, Crystal Star, Janet’s Star, Missouri Star and the Star X blocks! Which ones would you like to make?

Over the next month or so I’ll begin researching and sourcing a lovely fabric range with your suggestions in mind that I think will be perfect for the series! And like I said before, I’ll make sure it’s an¬†easy one¬†for everyone to find and use if they so wish!

If there are any other star blocks you would like me to consider for¬†the¬†QAL, let me know in the comments section! I’ve already had a request to include the¬†Colorado Star block as well as¬†the Diamond Star block! Yay!

OooOoo, such exciting times ahead!!

Happy Sewing, Friends!

xx

PS. I’m hoping to get the QAL underway sometime in July (or August at the very latest!)