Friday, June 28, 2013

T.G.I.F.F. - June Bee Blocks

I've had a reasonably productive week - especially considering I had my four year old niece on Tuesday and spent only half days home yesterday and today!  Winning!  I decided I would get on to the June Bee Blocks - seeing as though there's only a couple of days left in the month.....


This is the block I chose for my month as Queen in the paper piecing bee I am a part of.  When I saw Quilt Jane had made this block in to a quilt, I was in love.  And then spent many weeks thinking how I could "make the block mine"?  With a bit of brain storming with The Wombat Stew girls, and some printing out of patterns, sticky taping and colouring in - I was able to interpret how I would like the blocks to be made.  And I'm pretty darn happy!  Three of the girls have finished their blocks, and they are going to look UH-mazing!  I still am undecided what I will be making from the blocks, but watch this space....


Yesterday I finally tackled Lisa's Herringbone block from the QCA Bee #5.  I'd read the tutorial a million times and really could not make much sense of it!  So bit the bullet and got down to the task at hand.  And was still muddled.  After much turning of rulers and double checking I was doing things correctly, I figured it out.  And I must say, these blocks are striking!

LRRH Cushion

I know I showed you this finish on Tuesday, but I couldn't help myself from sharing again today!  Isn't she sweet?

I'm linking up with T.G.I.F.F, being hosted by the lovely Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts  AND Kristy's Paper Piecing Party over at Quiet Play -  You can too!

Paper Piecing Party

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Little Red Riding Hood - From My Magic Scrap Bags

I've written so many times about the love I have for my scrap bags.  The bags of leftovers I kept from little clothing collections I made.  Well, today I cracked open my Little Red Riding Hood stash!  I had a cushion to make (I know - another cushion!) and the recipient is a little girl, so what better?

I kid you not, when I say that the entire cushion front is made from pieces out of this bag.....

Cracking open thus scrap bag today!
I only had to break in to the substantial amount of yardage I have for the backing.  And on that note - do you ever forget that you have some amazing fabrics on your shelves?  I mean, seriously, I have nearly all the fabrics in this range - and at least a yard of each???  What the - - - - - - quilt incoming.......

I digress.  Here is the divine little cushion all finished and photographed this evening! LRRH Cushion
I questioned whether to use the red in the design, however, some of my Instagram friends helped me out and said HELL YES!  I'm so glad they did.  Love. It.

LRRH Cushion
LOVE this little toadstool print!  Finished the back off with an enclosed zipper.  And yes, you can see writing through the back here - I failed to realise that when I photographed it, the cushion I grabbed off the lounge to stuff inside would become visible!  Whoops!

LRRH Cushion
And a little close up of my first attempt at little flowers.  Another free motion quilting experiment, that worked!  I used ye old faithful Aurifil 50wt for quilting, because really, nothing else quite does the job like it!

I threw the design of this together myself, just cutting out the squares 4.5" and then all of the strips and borders are 2", which gave me an 18" finished cushion.  Perfecto!

I'm linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday  - You can too!

Better Off Thread


Monday, June 24, 2013

Fiji - A Review of Sorts!

A little over a week ago, I was sitting in a hammock, reading a great book and listening to the sound of gentle waves lapping at the shore.  The only thing that could remotely annoy me were the ever present "mozzies", but even they were easily tamed with some local insect repellant.  My husband and I had seven whole days of peace and tranquility.  We had relaxation overload.  We met new friends and learnt a lot about different cultures.  It was an experience that I shall never forget, and one that I would most eagerly repeat, time and time again.  Our "honeymoon" we had waited almost ten years for, was amazing.  So here is my "sharing is caring" post - and a review of sorts - if only to get you all to visit this little peace of heaven!  Enjoy....


Leaving Melbourne at 2am was never going to be ideal, and try as I may, I could not get a wink of sleep!  So we landed in Nadi a bit worse for wear.  Greeted by a lovely driver, we jumped in his car and took a delightful slightly hair raising two and a half hour drive up the coast.  From there, it was a 30 minute boat ride, across the seas to a little island called Beqa.  And on that island was our destination - Lalati Resort & Spa.  Thankfully, we had these beautiful coconut drinks and a foot massage to greet us!  Oh, and singing and smiles from the local staff. 


This was the view from our room.  Literally steps away from the beach.  The sound at night, of the gentle high tide waves, was beautiful.


Looking out to the jetty from the social hub of the resort.  When I say social, I mean it's here that you can sit around with any or all of the other 16 guests.  Yep, the most guests at this resort at any one time is 18.  And I think that's what makes it so. damn. special.  Oh, and the fact there's no children - which was perfect for all the honeymooners and late honeymooners like ourselves!  You can slip in to the water from the jetty and snorkle to your heart's content.  We saw so many beautiful fish there and amazing big blue starfish!


My husband - just hanging around.


Some of the wonderful staff - Ollie, Josiah and Chantal.  They all live in surrounding villages on the island.  And they were all gorgeous souls!  Josiah was most impressed that I could upload a photo for him to Facebook - so he now has a profile pic!


On our fifth day, Josiah took us on a visit to his village - Lalati village.  It's only a five minute walk from the resort, but it was like stepping back a bit in time.  EVERYONE wore a smile.  And the kids were just divine!  We all had a hoot taking photos, singing and dancing.  Unforgettable.


And on this visit, we took a look inside their church.  Fijians are quite a religious bunch, with churches in each village.  This gorgeous little piece of handwork was inside, so I had to get a photo!


This is me with Captain Josiah after I'd been snorkelling.  We took a boat trip out to the middle of the ocean and were dropped on to the reefs.  To say I was shitting myself would be an understatement, but I sucked it up and relaxed.  It paid off.  We saw reef sharks and amazing fish.  The coral was beautiful.


And this is us with a local firewalker.  Yep, these fellas are known for their ability to walk on hot rocks that have been burning for seven hours.  Not even a flinch!


Excuse the grainy photo from my iphone, but this little cherub kept me company during a Kava drinking and dancing ceremony in the village! We had lots of fun taking photos!


There was no escaping patchwork for me!  This darling skirt was offered to me to wear when we went on a hike up a mountain to a beautiful waterfall.  We had to walk through another village to get there, and the local women do not wear pants, only skirts, so to show our respect, we had to wear skirts over our pants whilst walking through.  Certainly doesn't go with my runners!


And this my friends?  This is a photo of two extremely relaxed and re-juvinated human beings!  I took it just before we departed the island and headed back to the mainland.

I left Lalati with more than I came with.  Not in terms of possessions, but my heart was full.  The people I met and the places we visited just re-itereated to me how bloody lucky I am.  And how much "stuff" we have.  We left some of our stuff over there.  Basically because they needed it more than we do.  I wish I could have had the foresight to have taken lots more with us.

So there you have it.  A destination that I would strongly suggest you all get to one day!  

Have you been on a holiday lately?  Where would you suggest we dream of going to next?


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Stash #18 - The Intrepid Thread strikes again!

I made the very smart decision a couple of years ago to follow The Intrepid Thread on Facebook.  And via Newsletter.  And......well, you get the picture.  It's a fabulous online store, and Julie is always throwing in a special here and there!  A couple of weeks ago she had a bunch of fabric on sale, Notting Hill being one of them.  I had a slight kinniption, and NEEDED to order some yardage for the backing of the quilt I am yet to make!  I've had my FQ bundle of Notting Hill patiently waiting for me to choose a pattern - which I am still yet to do - for quite some time now.  And now I have the backing and binding ready too.

Julie throws in a couple of cute charm squares with her orders.

Whilst I was at it, I thought I best fill up the envelope to make the most of the shipping I would be paying on my eight yards.  So I bought the FQ bundle of Indian Summer which I used immediately in THIS QUILT.  I also got a FQ bundle of Kona Modern Quilts.  And when I mentioned in QCA that I was ordering from Julie, Molli popped up and said if I needed help filling that envelope, he would surely be able to help!  So there's five half yards of Notting Hill there too!

The only other additions to my stash this past week have been metres of homespun.  They were used immediately also - which my shelves are thanking me for.

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth - You can too!


Friday, June 21, 2013

T.G.I.F.F. - Two For One

I shared with you on Wednesday my two  quickie quilts that were on track to be finished by today - and they are!  I just had to bind both of them this morning!  These delicious throw size quilts are for two brothers - nine and five.  And they are my first custom orders for quilts.  I am so utterly thrilled with the end results!


The first is made using Indian Summer by Art Gallery.  If you haven't used Art Gallery fabrics before - then you really need to do yourself a favour an invest in some!  It is the most luscious feeling fabric.  I mixed in some dark navy blue and fawn/brown homespun solids which I think give it a bit of a bang!  I used my trusty gold Aurifil to do lots of straight line quilting....


Which you can see the effect of here on the back!  I used the leftover strips from the fat quarters to piece the centre of the backing.


Gorgeous yes?


The second quilt is made with Urban Mod from Art Gallery again.  I've mixed in teal green and a grey/blue homespun with this one.  And the solid yellow is actually a mustard Art Gallery solid - the colours are a little different in the unusually bright sunshine here today!  Silver/grey Aurifil thread used in the quilting here...


Another strip pieced backing.


I really love the colours in this one, as they are so bright a yummy.


The pattern I used is just a basic Disappearing Nine Patch.  When researching them, most were using 5" squares, but because I wanted these to be relatively quick (well, they certainly were!) and I wanted to make the most out of the fat quarters that I had, I changed the squares to 9.5".  I literally have no scraps whatsoever from the fat quarters, which is a bit sad - but also fabulous because of no wastage!

So this afternoon, I sent a photo of them finished to the customer/friend and she is wrapt!

If you're looking for a super quick, super easy quilt to whip up in a couple of days - then these babies are perfect!  I see many more in my future!

I also finished off this gorgeous dress today - which will be in a Winter Wonderland showcase at
  You, Me & Three Designs next week!

I'm linking up with T.G.I.F.F. being hosted by Thirteen In '13 today - you can too!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Who knew? Not me....

So I've been reading hysteria filled posts for months about the fact that Google Reader is closing down. As I read them, I thought "Hmmm, never heard of it" and wondered for a few seconds each time how I read my blog posts and why it wasn't on Google Reader??

Fast forward to a few days ago, when a lovely reader commented that they couldn't find my Bloglovin' follow button thingy, but added me anyway.  And press that fast forward button again to tonight when I finally mentioned said comment to my friend Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts.  She suggested that I should add the button for all the new Bloglovin' fashionistas, and to use her tutorial.  So I did.

And who knew?  Well, clearly not me - apparently all these years I HAVE been using Google Reader - in a round about fashion!  Yep, technologically challenged me figured out by signing up to Bloglovin' that when you follow all your blogs through your Blogger Dashboard, it does in fact link up with Google Reader.  Derrrrrrr.......  And I only found this out when I decided to give the "Import Blogs" button a crack.  And 334 blogs a following imported for me.  Ummmmm......

So here you have it friends - 

I'm working on adding the goddamn button!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday #22 - Quickie x 2

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

A very quick W.I.P. Wednesday post tonight - which is fitting given the speed in which these two projects are coming together!

A couple of weeks ago, a friend showed me a quilt her Step-Mum made for her when she was 12.  It had certainly seen better days - well, it was 20+ years old, so many a day seen!  Her eldest son had loved it literally to death, and it was falling apart and really on death's door.  So she asked me if I could make a new one.  Well, two new ones - because she knew once the nine year old had a new quilt, the five year old would want one too!  I was more than happy to oblige, and the only guide she gave me was to make them boyish colours, but not babyish prints, as she wants these quilts to last them into adulthood.

The first one I used a fat quarter bundle of Art Gallery - Urban Mod.  I had this cut out, pieced together and ready to baste by the end of day one.  And quilted it this morning.  Binding will go on tomorrow!

And the second I cut out and starting piecing together after lunch today.  It's another Art Gallery range - Indian Summer.  I quite simply cannot believe how bloody quickly these disappearing nine patch blocks go together!  I wanted something relatively quick and easy, and the gang at QCA were great when I questioned in there the other day!  So given that I still have tomorrow and Friday off work - I am aiming to have both of these bad boys finished by the weekend!

I'm linking up with W.I.P. Wednesday with Freshly Pieced - you can too!

Kate Spain Blog Hop - Stopping Here Today!

Kate Spain blog hop

Last week, I wrote about my love for Kate Spain in THIS POST, today I'm showing you my latest project using a gorgeous little FQ bundle of Cuzco!  I finished this a couple of weeks ago, so it has been very difficult for me to keep it to myself, waiting for my turn on the Kate Spain Blog Hop!  I hope you've been keeping up with the hop over at Blossom Heart Quilts?  You can find all the dates HERE.

So - what did I make?  Well, I bought myself a whizz bang new camera a few weeks ago, and at the same time, bought a generic black camera bag from the same store.  And kept the tags on.  Because I really didn't like it.  And I really didn't want to pay a million dollars $150 for the only store bought camera bag I saw and thought was ok.  So then began a Pinterest search to rival no other!  I was determined to make my own goddamn camera bag!

Many days of searching and second guessing myself later, I found the Sew Sweetness Paparazzi camera bag pattern.  And it was $8 well spent!  I made a trip to my local Clark Rubber store and bought some foam for the padding and then took to my beloved Cuzco with gusto!

And this my friends, is the end result........

Camera Bag

I love, love, love it!  I mixed the Cuzco with some lightweight denim I had in my shelves, and added some quilting to the handles and trim, as well as the side/bottom panel.

Camera Bag

I found a gorgeous blue zipper to pop in the back and surprised myself with a new way of inserting a zip!

Camera Bag

The side panels of the bag have one inch foam padding, and then there are removable foam padding inserts in the base of the bag and also to put between your camera and accessories.  The pattern calls for rows of velcro to be sewn on the inside of the bag, and also on the edges of the padding.  However - after sewing one row on, I decided against the velcro.  I'm still trying to work out how to make the padding work for me!

Camera Bag

Camera Bag

The pattern also gives you directions for using hidden magnetic closures, but I chose to use my good old handy snap machine with some co-ordinating blue snaps.  

Camera Bag

And just to make sure it was a great functional bag - this beauty has just travelled all the way to Fiji and back!  Not only did it carry my camera and accessories - it also served as my handbag/travel bag!  So I think I can safely say it's great!

What I love most about this bag is the bright and bold colours.  I loved that each time I opened it up to get something out, I was greeted with those vibrant oranges and pinks.  Needless to say, the generic black camera bag was returned for a refund, and no million dollars spent.  Instead I have this one of a kind, unique bag which cost me around $35 to make!  Winner!

Thanks again to Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts for running this amazing Blog Hop!  I'm loving visiting all the blogs involved and drooling over all the fabulous Kate Spain inspired projects!  Be sure to link up any new projects you have made this month using Kate Spain fabric lines on the 28th of June.  I know I will be!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Kate Spain Homage!

Today is the day of the Kate Spain Blog Hop - over at Blossom Heart Quilts - where everyone can link up their favourite kate Spain projects!  I have sat here looking through photos and really just could not choose one here is my homage of sorts to my love for Kate's fabrics, and how it sort of began......

When I started out sewing little one's clothing for my Ms Midge business, I soon realised there was a whole world of fabric out there that I just had no clue about.  It's probably a realisation that my husband wishes I had not found, however, it has lead me to the hobby he always said I needed (he may regret saying I needed a hobby too).

Anyway, I think the third delivery of fabric from overseas was the entire collection of Terrain.  From that I made a multitude of little outfits, and not long in to it was asked to provide some photos to an online magazine called "Tiny & Little".  I was absolutely freakin thrilled!! So I called on my friend Gina from Gina Ralli Photography, who very kindly popped over and took some amazing pictures for me.  THIS is where my Kate Spain love came to life.....

I continued on my merry way, making clothing, not realising that a year or two later, I would be completely obsessed and somewhat addicted to quilting.  Thankfully, I chose to bag up all the "scraps" of Terrain and put them aside.  When the quilting bug bit, I found out that you should NEVER throw out scraps, because one woman's scraps is another woman's - or man's - treasure!

Breaking open this "scrap" bag to make a special present!!

            So earlier this year, this bag of scrappage was cracked open for a number of projects.......


The first being this paper pieced cushion for my teenage god-daughter.  I LOVE the way the Terrain bounces off the black background!  She loves it too.  You can see my post about it HERE.

Done! Yeh!!

Next cab off the rank was this paper pieced cushion, which now belongs to my Mum.  I was so glad that I had about a yard or so of the green print amongst my scraps - it's gone a long way!  You can see my post about it HERE.

Terrain has also been used in some of my bee blocks for others, as well as the block I popped in my own month of being Queen Bee!  It's like the fabric that just keeps giving!  I have plans for the rest of my stash.....


When I went searching for fabric for my purple loving four year old, I fell in love with Good Fortune!  The colours are sublime, and whilst you wouldn't think some of the colours would naturally go together, they do!  You can read my post about this quilt HERE.

Lovely little bundle for a special project!

And finally - I have just finished making my project for this Blog Hop just last week!  I've used this gorgeous little bundle of Cuzco.  I'm not showing you the finished project - for obvious reasons!  You will have to come back here to my blog on the 19th of June - when it's my turn as host for the Hop!

Make sure you have all the dates for the blog hop in your calendar - you don't want to miss out!

I'm linking up with the Kate Spain Blog Hop - you can too!

Kate Spain blog hop

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