Quiet Quilting Days

Over the past few days I’ve been quietly quilting my How Does Your Garden Grow? Competition Quilt – stressfully patiently stitching row after row after row after row…

I’m three quarters of the way through and I’m really happy with how it’s working out.

With a big satisfying grin on my face, I find my self stopping mid sew now and again just to run my hand over the texture that the stitched lines have created.

I hope to get started quilting on the last quarter either tonight or tomorrow morning, with the goal of finishing all the quilting by days end tomorrow. Then it’s onto making the rod pocket and attaching the bias binding.

Yay, the finish line is in sight! (I’ve watching too much of the Olympics!)

Happy Sewing!! xx


The Beginning of Juicy-Lime Squares

It’s been a fantastical productive sewing day today with the construction of half a new quilt top. I’ve completed the five blocks that make up the top and now need to sew on the sashing etc to completely finish the quilt top. I think I’m going to call this one…..Juicy-Lime Squares.Image

These are my two favourite blocks – I’m in love with the bright vivid lime green fabric, it’s just devine!


As promised, here are the photo’s of the finished Gumnut Babies Quilt….

Front & Back….


Quilting close-ups…..


Happy Sewing!! xx

A Quilters Mind Never Stops Thinking!

Just only a few moments ago this afternoon, I finished hand sewing the binding onto the Gumnut Babies Quilt – escaping with only a few needle pricks and my sanity still in tact! Tomorrow I will label and photograph it, share here with you on my blog and then pass it on to the lucky lady who gets to snuggle underneath it’s warmth and comfort. Here is the quilt being quilted during the week. I had fun playing around with the composition of the quilting lines to tie in with the modern approach I took to making this quilt.

Obviously you’ll be able to see the final result when I photograph it tomorrow. I’m genuinely happy with how this quilt has come out, especially when I wasn’t following a pattern; it turned out exactly how I pictured it in my head and that, in itself, is refreshingly satisfying!

The quilt top I’ve made for the How Does Your Grow? Competition has been finalized and yesterday I embellished the quilt backing, cut the batting down to size and basted all three layers together.

The next step now is to decide how I’m going to quilt it so I can fully emphasize the overall design and message of the quilt, as well as to highlight the hand pieced flower blades.

So, now that these two projects are nearing their ends, it’s time to start thinking about the next few quilts that need to be made! I love planning and starting new projects; there’s such joy and excitement in choosing the right quilt designs, fabrics and quilting patterns! Within the past few months I’ve seemed to become addicted to solid block colours and have a few quilt designs in mind that, I think, will show off the harmonies between certain colours.

I was recently inspired to use a particular colour palette after watching the highlights of the 2011 Dew Tour on Fuel TV. I love the bright and vivid lime green that’s smattered around the Skate/BMX course and how the greys and black sit comfortably next to each other. These aren’t the best pictures, but you can see what I mean about that intense lime green!

So naturally I thought that those colours would look awesome in a quilt! I think the fabrics I bought match very well with the course’s colours and I plan to re-visit the notion of the ‘modern approach’ that I used with the Gumnut Babies Quilt, but with a different design of course!

Here’s a rough design sketch of the quilt that I hope to construct…

It’s amazing how inspiration can be found anywhere along with how it hits you like a ton of bricks when it does!

Another project that has sprung to mind is taking the opportunity to explore the use of negative space in a quilt. This thought came about after receiving an email from the organizers of QuiltCon (Texas, 2013) about the different categories that can be explored for the Quilt Show that they’ll be presenting. Entry is open for international quilters, so I’m thinking why not try my luck and make something that could be chosen for display! You never know these things unless you try!

These are the two fabrics I’ve chosen to use; purposely paired for the minimalistic design I’m working on. I’ll update more as things progress!

I’m also dying to find the perfect quilt project so I that I have an excuse to use these Denyse Schmidt fabrics that I oh-so love!

They’re just sooo pretty and fun!! I think I’ll have to spend some time this researching quilt patterns, waiting for the right one to jump out at me and inspire my mind!

Happy Sewing! xx

A Modern Approach

This week I’ve been getting stuck into the Gumnut Babies Quilt – playing and experimenting with a modern Log Cabin block design. The quilt top is now finished – yay! – ready to be basted and quilted.



I purposely made the quilt top look patchy especially with the grey block fabric as I wanted to really embrace a modern approach and thinking towards constructing this quilt. Personally, I think it adds character and whimsy to the overall design. I’m really happy with where it’s at and can’t wait to get stuck in quilting it.

For the back of the quilt, I’m going to make my first pieced backing with some of the left over fabric strips I used for the Log Cabin blocks and again just play and experiment my way through to the finished product!

Let’s get into it!

Happy Sewing! xx


All In A Day’s Work

In my opinion, the best way to pass a cold and miserable rainy winters day would be to rack up a few good km’s on the sewing machine, pump out some extraordinary quilt blocks and projects and then sit and admire your accomplishments for the rest of the afternoon! That’s how my day was spent yesterday (minus the rain and misery) and how the rest of today will go – hopefully!

I’ve dived right back into a project I had previously started but realized I didn’t really like what I had started. I refer to this Gumnut Babies quilt top that I shared a few posts ago. I felt it was a bit bland and boring – to brown, messy and flat. I didn’t feel that ‘thing’ towards it….so it’s been rejected!!

And this is now the direction I’m going in! I’ve added a few more coordinating prints with bolder colours and patterns and decided to do a very modern Log Cabin sort-of design.

It’s only in the early stages of design and the layout of the blocks isn’t firmly decided yet as I still have a few more to make.

With this project, I’m totally going in blind while making it. I’m not following any pattern or specific instructions. Just like all my other quilts I make, the design is all up in my head and I just hope that I am able to translate what’s in mind into an aesthetically pleasing quilt. Fingers crossed xxx!!

I’m the first to admit that I spend way too much time on Pinterest – possibly border lining on addict. However, I was so inspired by a particular pin that I used it as inspiration and made some sweet little wreaths!

These were made by using left over knitting wool/yarn, wrapped hundreds of times around a foam wreath, hot-glue gunning store-bought felted flowers in a pretty bunch together and then attaching some contrasting ribbon as the hanger bit! Ta-dah! A pretty wreath for your front door! It took next-to-no-time to make and the materials where very cheap to buy. So get your craftiness on; make it and be surprised at the results!

I’ve finally finished hand-piecing my How Does Garden Grow? Competition quilt and am now playing around with different techniques to add more interest etc. to the centre of the flower design. I’ve made a few Dresden Wheels but am currently stuck on making them the right size to be able to stack them on top of each other, as if the flower was still blooming.  It’s a head scratcher, but I’ll work it out in the end. Here’s peek…

Right, well I’m off to sew! But only after I make myself a green tea and turn the heater on! Brrr, it’s cold!

Happy Sewing! xx

In love with progress!

I love a good dose of progress in any way possible and the past few days have been full of it!

I’ve come to the point where I’ve almost, just almost, finished the Butterfly cot quilt and I’m so-so-so-so-so happy with it!

While finishing this little beauty, I tried out two techniques that I’ve always shied away from: spray basting and free-hand quilting (stippling).

First of all: I thought I’d give spray basting a go as I knew that safety-pins would constantly get in the way while I was trying to free-hand quilt. So I bought a small can, sprayed away (following the instructions of course!) and was dumb-founded with the instant results I got. My god, the stuff truly does work!

It’s not too sticky but sticky enough to hold all three layers to one another, it’s repositionable and it doesn’t gum up the sewing machine needle. These were my fears of using spray baste but I was happily proven wrong. Plus it only took like two seconds to baste the whole quilt together compared to a few hours rolling around on the floor, pinning and stabbing yourself while tackling all three layers together.

The next technique I successfully conquered was free-hand quilting or stippling. At first I was hopeless and was having terrible issues with the tension – all of my stitches were too loose and it looked horrible and messy. But with YouTube and the Missouri Star Quilt Company to the rescue, I was able to remedy my troubles by changing the tension (very high or tight!) to achieve beautiful, clean and crisp stitching. Here’s the link to the YouTube clip http://youtu.be/yGNOS5JQHYQ Check it out as they go over how to spray baste, set up your machine for stippling and do a little demonstration. They do talk a lot, but it’s helpful if you don’t know what you’re doing!

Here is the quilt on it way! A minute into it I had to stop to have a look and see if I was doing it right, and HUZZAH, it was working!!

Now I’m not going to show you a whole finished look of the quilt just yet – I want to wait until it’s reached the ‘mum-to-be’ before I do that. But here are a few sneaky-peeks!

So from one quilt, onto another…. Today I begun cutting and piecing together another project for a friend who bought some adorable Gumnut Babies fabric. I’ve had these fabrics sitting in my to-do pile for the last 3-4 months, so I thought it was about time to get it started! This lovely lady has been ever so patient and tolerant with my poor time management skills!

Here’s a peek at the fabrics just before they were pieced together this morning.

I also managed to finish my babushka embroidery that I started over my horrible sickie weekend.

It’s just so sweet and colourful. I’m not too sure whether I’ll just frame it or if I’ll add a border around it to make it into a little wall-hanging. I’ve got some adorable babushka print fabric I’ve had sitting in my stash for a gazillion years that I’m just itching to use!

Last but not least, two days ago I decided to quit my job and take up quilting, patchwork, crafting, and blogging as my ‘full-time’ career. It was decision that I didn’t make lightly but felt that it was a now or never kind of feeling/situation. Quilting is my life and my deepest passion and I couldn’t think of anything else in this world that I could commit myself to to make me happy and content in life.

I have sat down and written out a full list of goals I want to achieve and know that I will accomplish them with hard work and dedication along with support and encouragement from my family and friends. I’ll also be taking this time to finish my Fine Arts degree with the plan to go on to studying Education so I can teach my craft to others!

So that’s been my week: busy, stressful, teary, successful, content and intense! Hmm.

Happy Sewing! xx

The Greatest of Intentions

So I had the greatest of intentions to commit myself to my sewing machine and to projects that need to be finished ASAP this weekend. However, as the way life goes, I got sick and was lounge ridden with near-to-no energy, killer sore throat and the worst headache that could ever be ached.

But I did mange to make myself do some sort of sewing and made my nimble fingers start a new embroidery.


This is what I managed. I’ve mixed it up from my usual use of back-stitch and decided to chain-stitch the main design and satin-stitch the eyes and other roundish/circular features.


Therefore I stayed on the lounge all day, omitting toilet breaks and panadol stops, and watched a few seasons of Friends – one of my favourite TV shows – and the last two Harry Potter movies (Deathly Hallows Part I & II). Both of these definitely cheered me up in some kind of way but didn’t help me getting any of my quilting projects done! Fingers crossed I can find some time during the week to get the things that should’ve been done, on their way for this following weekend.

 Happy Sewing! xx


Hooray for the weekend!!

What a week! I’ve been so overwhelmingly busy these past few days that I’m so glad it’s the weekend!

The last two days I’ve spent at the Craft & Quilt Show at Darling Harbour where I helped man our stand full of our latest issues and associated quilting products.

Of course I took full advantage of my time there to go shopping and spend a ridiculous amount of money on fabric. I mainly bought fat-quarters in mind of a new quilt idea bubbling in the back of my brain. Let’s just say, for now, it will feature the use of a lot of spotty fabrics!

I also bought a beautiful Amy Butler fabric which I’m thinking I could use as a feature print in a quilt sometime in the future.

I also found the sweetest Babushka Sailor Doll, who is now a new addition to my sewing table.



So one of the biggest thrills (as well as the most loserish in the world!) a quilter can get is the purchase of a brand new, shinny, fang-dangle iron! And I, as a quilter, had one of these wet-your-pants-with-excitement moments last weekend when I bought our new iron.

It’s just so pretty and fancy! And yes, I understand that I am the dorkiest, most insane and weirdest person ever in the world to be so excited over an iron. Everyone in my household thinks I’m crazy, and you know, I don’t blame them because I would think the same thing if the roles where reversed. But for a quilter, without an iron you can’t get clean precise lines to match up or have all your blocks lie flat resulting in a flat pristine quilt top that will obey your every command. In patchwork and quilting, an iron is just as important as your sewing machine, fabrics and threads! Hence, my giddy excitement and wet pants.

So of course I had to find a legit reason to use this new piece of appliance that had come into our household and my June Craftsy BOMs where the perfect excuse! Plus I knew I could get them done in a few hours, curing me of my sewing addiction for the day.

With a twist to the old nine-patch block, I’m really pleased with how my fabric choices work in these blocks, especially the Greek cross – the bold pink print fabric really makes it pop!

I’m about to get started on quilting the Butterfly Cot Quilt, where I’m going to take a big bold step and stipple (or free-hand machine) quilt  around the butterflies. I haven’t done very much free-hand quilting before – let alone on an actual quilt – but I’m all for taking on challenges; doing it, learning from it and loving the result! How will you grow in your skills if you don’t give new things a go right? I hope to get started on it this weekend as I’m so anxious to get it finished as I think it’s going to turn out really sweet and charming!

I’ve begun the first steps of figuring out how to create my How does your Garden Grow? quilt competition quilt by mocking up a smaller scale of the quilt design and playing around with a few of the techniques I mentioned in my last blog. I think I’ve come to a conclusion of which direction to go in to construct this one: English Paper Piecing. It’s going to take a while and require a lot of patience but I think it’ll be worth it in the end!

So there’s a lot to carry on with during the weekend and maybe, just maybe I can hopefully squeeze in an extra few hours at the Craft & Quilt Show and explore its inspiring goodness and tempting products in my own time, at my own leisure. Maybe. If I have the funds to spare it!

Happy Sewing!! xx

A Diamond Jubilee Celebration fit for a Queen!

If you’ve been living under a rock, in a cave, under the bed or are just plain ignorant, you may have been unaware that this weekend was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The hype about this event has been building up for months and the UK has been dressing up the London city streets with an abundance of Monarchy pride!

As a great lover of all things British, and the fact my dad’s an Englishman, we celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in style in the form of a ‘simple’ Sunday dinner.

I decked out our table with some red and blue gingham fabric, a Union Jack printed tea towel the folks bought back from their European holiday last year, my Grandmother’s 1950’s print frame of the Queen when she was younger along with fancy crockery, glasses and goofy crown hats!

We had Coronation Chicken sandwiches, a Victoria Sponge, Jam Tart and Shortbread biscuits. We started dinner with some sparkling grape drink (non-alcoholic for the teetotallers in our family) followed by leaf-tea in fancy cups and saucers with our dessert. We truly enjoyed ourselves by doing something different while acting silly with our posh little pinky fingers in the air as we sipped our tea and spoke in posh English accents – well attempted to anyway!

Before our fancy dinner, I had dedicated the afternoon to watching some of my favourite British films.

I started with About a Boy then treated my self to the ridiculously funny and classic Bridget Jones. I did have all intentions to watch Four Weddings and a Funeral but Downton Abbey was on TV and I couldn’t miss that! There are plenty of other British titles that rank in my top favourite movies; The King’s Speech, Pride & Prejudice (BBC version – swoon over Mr. Darcy!), Persuasion,  The Inbetweeners, Love Actually, Bend it Like Beckham, Mr Bean etc. I would need a whole week to watch all of these titles to truly enjoy every moment!

My movie afternoon-slash-evening became the ideal time to continue appliqueing the butterflies on the Butterfly cot quilt that’s currently in the making. Only four more to go, with 24 butterflies in total! Yay! Once they’re all secured, I can sandwich the quilt up with wadding and the backing fabric and get ready to quilt!

Saturday evening, with a stubborn itch to do some sewing, I came up with this Stacked Coins cushion cover using some coordinating scraps from my scraps tub. No pattern, no instructions. Just my imagination and mind’s eye helped to create this little gem.

It’s now ready for a quick bout of quilting and then the quirky pear print backing to be sewn on (with a zipper or buttons I’m not sure yet) and then stuffed with a cushion in-fill and it’s ready for the lounge!

I’ve finalised my design for the Quilter’s Guild of NSW’s under 35 years quilting competition based on the theme How Does Your Garden Grow?

Just a sneeky-peek…I can’t give the whole idea away just yet! Today I was researching into how I would actually construct this beauty. It’ll definately have to be some type of Foundation Piecing, either string or paper piecing or English paper piecing. I’ll have to do some mock up testing first to find out which would best. Any suggestions??

Happy Sewing! xx

A Summer Zig-Zag Quilt

So a few months ago, I started a new quilting project – my Zig-Zag quilt, with colours inspired by Summer.

Well, after being purposely left folded in some dark dingy corner of my sewing room as well as being unfairly subjected to my procrastinating ways, it’s finished!! Yaaay!

Although testing the limit of mine and my darling sewing machines patience, I’m truly glad and satisfied with how my first attempt at (my own type) Echo Quilting went.

The back view shows the quilted lines the best. I did all of it on my gorgeous Brother NX-200QE Domestic Sewing Machine – the little machine that could and does.

Think me strange. Think me weird. But I’ve named my machine Queen Elizabeth as it’s a Quilter’s Edition sewing machine and I was playing around with the initials Q & E.  She is very regal and powerful in stature and rules over all in and around my sewing table! I think it’s a very fitting name! And yes, I am a weirdo.

In other sewing news, I finished the embroideries I made for two special ladies who I work with (well won’t be any more as I’ll be finishing my very last shift at Spotlight this weekend and heading onto a new job and career path starting this Monday!). So I ironed, trimmed, framed and wrapped them, then realised I hadn’t taken photos. Dammit! Hopefully when I give them out this weekend I can quickly snap up some pictures and share them with you.

I’ve been working away on my Hexi obsession and inspiration is flowing and building in my mind as I’m stitching away. Who knows what the final outcome will be as I’m always changing my mind and thinking of new quilt designs.

This week I discovered one of the best things ever on the net – Pinterest! Wow! I mean, wow, is this the right website for inspiration or what!? I’m absolutely addicted to pinning anything and everything that grabs as well as trawling through different themes and keywords and seeing how people represent these things through pictures and words. If you haven’t checked it out – DO IT NOW!!

Happy Sewing! xx