Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Sewing - It's a Wrap!

As with every other household in the world, things here have been crazy!!  We've had my 16 year old God-daughter staying with us for three weeks - which meant I had five kids to sort out, children finishing school, organising school for next year.  Christmas parties, birthday parties and work work work.  I'm also struggling dreadfully with a horrid virus called "pityriasis rosea" - otherwise known as "the rash from hell". In between all of that and more, I've managed to get a ridiculous amount of Christmas sewing done.  I didn't actually realise just how much I had done, until I sat down to do this post.  You see, although I haven't been blogging very regularly lately, I HAVE been taking photos of what I've made and waiting until I had time to sit here and document it all!  Now is that time.....  Here are lots of pretty pictures, capturing all the pretty things that have been gifted or are waiting to be gifted!

Zippered Pouches 

Three lovely little zippered pouches.  The middle one was gifted to my Mum and is Liberty - it proved very interesting to sew.  Anyone with tips and hints on sewing with such fine fabric, feel free to share!  I love the other two pouches also, as I cut up little Cotton + Steel selvedges and added them.

Zippered Pouches 

I've become obsessed with metal zippers.

AHBC Gift 

This yummy cushion cover has been sent to our December birthday gal from the Australian Handmade Birthday Club.  Simple AMH squares working together beautifully with linen and 12wt Aurifil thread.

AHBC Gift 

I added a fat quarter of Tula and a little key fob.

Personalised Cushion 

We had our annual family Christmas party for my father in law's family this past weekend.  We only buy gifts for the kids under 16, and there's only our kids and two others left in that pool now!  So little Bianca received her own little personalised cushion.  She loved it!

Teacher's Gift 

Teacher's gifts have been received now.  This zippered case is for my daughter's teacher - a 23 year old man in his first year of teaching.  I was very happy with how enthusiastic he was upon opening it!

Teacher's Gift

May have had something to do with the contents....

Teacher's Gift 

The prep teacher was gifted this yummy cushion.  I asked her what her favourite colour was a few weeks ago - yellow.

Teacher's Gift 

More 12wt Aurifil.  I freakin love using it for a distinctive finish!

Just whipped these babies up for @molli_sparkles will pop intge post today! #hashtagblock #glitteratitotherescue #sewingforsydney 

After last week's horrible siege in Sydney, my lovely friend Molli took it upon himself to rally the quilting troops and whip up some of his hashtag blocks, which will be made in to some quilts for the victim's families.  These are my contribution.  If you want to know how you can help, head over to mollisparkles.com for all the details.

Another obsession begun....how quick and easy are these?!? #theyrenotperfect #letitgo 

I joined the key fob gang, and whipped up these for little gifts.

November #qcabee5 blocks for Diane 

I caught up on November's QCA Bee Blocks.

Uninterrupted sewing = increased productivity! Birthday present - check! #thisgirlisonfire 

And put together this personalised cushion for my son's best friend's birthday.

Omg!!!!! I think I'm very spoilt!!! Thank you SO much @shequiltsalot it's all completely stunning and I love it all! I feel like I need to send an extra parcel to you!!!!!! Xxxxx #sweetpouchswap #ilovexmas 

And last, but certainly far from least, I participated in the Sweet Pouch Swap - Xmas edition - run by Ros at Sew Delicious.  This is my AMAZE-BALLS package I received from the ever lovely Peta!  I was gobsmacked, and thrilled with what she had sent me.  It was all a little overwhelming really!  The pouch itself it divine.  And when I took it with me to our Melbourne MQG get together, it got a whole lot of attention!!!  

Sweet Pouch Swap Xmas Edition 

In return - I sent off these goodies to Peta.  I forgot to take photos, so Peta very nicely sent these to me!  Peta is a huge fan of Bonnie & Camille, so I took out some of my charm squares and made her a linen and B&C pouch in Christmas colours.  The Christmas tree is really simple to put together - basically three little flying geese and then a trunk on the bottom.

Sweet Pouch Swap Xmas Edition

And this is the other side.  Isn't she pretty?

So - that, my friends, is a WRAP!  I do have one gift left to make, but will get to it asap.  You know, given Christmas is two days away......

I hope you all have a super fabulous Christmas Day and enjoy time spent with family, friends and/or doing what you love.  I am looking forward to some time away after Christmas, so am unsure whether I'll be back here blogging before the New Year.  If I'm not, I'll just say Happy New Year now!

Friday, December 19, 2014

T.G.I.F.F. - 2014 Quilt Finale

2014 has been a big year for me - quilting and otherwise.  As the year closes, I have my last two quilt finishes to share with you!  I count myself very lucky to be chosen to make something, as special as a quilt, for others.  The fact that people put their faith in me is really lovely.  Both of the quilts I'm sharing today are for repeat customers.  So I guess that says something about my product!

You may remember my Isosceles on Point quilt from last year?  Well, it now has a brother!

Custom quilt for Archie 

This divine king single quilt is made up of 5" squares in a range of beautiful blue and grey, mixed with black, white and taupe.  It is a colour palette I wouldn't necessarily have thought to put together, but Larissa always has a great eye for colour, and chose them all herself - then delivered them to me.  It was my job to make her vision come alive.

Custom quilt for Archie 

I placed all 221 squares quite randomly, only making sure there weren't pools of the same colour together.  Once quilted with a variegated Aurifil thread #4060 - which is a silvery/moss mix - it really popped.

Custom quilt for Archie

Larissa chose this great striped backing.  It's actually a sheeting fabric, which is super wide and made basting super easy.  This quilt is going to wash up so beautifully, and will keep its little recipient snug as a bug!  It was delivered today, just in time for a birthday!

Next up is the third quilt for a family.  The youngest of three boys needed a quilt to call his own, after his big brothers received theirs last year.  Cass left the colour and fabric selection to me, and was in no rush, so earlier this year I bought a fabulous bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics.  Greys, turquoise and orange were the winning palette and man, do they work well together.....

Custom quilt for Brodie 

The design is a basic disappearing nine patch, using 9" squares.  I love the random placement you are left with when you cut up a nine patch!  I also used a grey shot cotton from Spotlight for the solid mixer.  If you ever get the chance to use the shot cotton, do it, it's actually really lovely.

Custom quilt for Brodie

I quilted using a meandering free motion pattern, which I think looks a little jigsaw like.  I used a vibrant orange Aurifil #2150.

So, there you have it.  No more quilts for 2014!  But plenty of WIP's awaiting attention and new projects in line.....

I know I have been a slack blogger of late, and I have not replied to everyone's comments, but I've been flat out and am now dealing with some sort of weird virus, which comes with a delightfully itchy rash and a 6-8 week cycle.  Sooooo, thank you again for always taking the time to come and read my posts and please know I read all of your comments and really do have the intention of replying!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Project Pictorial

Every now and then, I look through my downloaded photos to both Instagram and here on my computer, and I find finished projects I haven't shared with you!  So here is a little "project pictorial".....

Finished!! I hope whoever receives my Xmas decoration at our #melbournemqg get together likes it! #liberty #aurifil

My Christmas ornament for the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild swap!  I cracked open my Liberty stash for this one, and love how it turned out.  We swapped on Saturday at our Sit and Sew day, and thankfully my recipient said she loved it!

Custom order bag number one finished!

I have had a few last custom orders to get finished before Christmas.  Last week, I managed to get two 241 Totes made - this one is made from some Home Dec fabric I purchased at Spotlight months ago and linen.....

And the second..... Ticking off lists here.....

And this one is from some of the delicious Enchino I brought back from Japan, and more linen blend fabric.  I love them both!

Kate Spain Zippered Pouch

Now this little project I made months ago!  And forgot to share!  I wanted to make something for Kate Spain in return for her generosity during the Charm swap/along and also with my Pavement Puddles quilt.  I got all the teeny weeny scraps from my KS wall hanging and just made them work!

Kate Spain Zippered Pouch

On the other side, I paper pieced a K and then free motion quilted the rest of her name.

Kate Spain Zippered Pouch

Teeeeeeny weeeeeeny pieces of yummy fabric scraps!  I think the pouch ended up being around 12" long, so that gives you an idea of how small these are.

Kate Spain Zippered Pouch

I filled it with yummy Aussie sweets and the lovely Quilt Jane hand delivered my present to Kate at Quilt Market for me.  Thanks Jane!

Cushion for Skye

This delightful cushion started off as a bee block.  And went terribly wrong when I trimmed all 27 geese down to size, without realising the tutorial meant finished size PLUS seam allowance.  So I was left with all these yummy geese with nowhere to fly......  Then I read the bio of the November recipient in my Aussie Handmade Birthday Swap and see she loves yellow and orange!  Win win!  So I added some bits of white here and then to make it all fit and symmetrical, and BAM - cushion cover done!

Cushion for Skye

I backed it with this beautiful Flora print!

Custom order Folkart Horse Cushion

And yesterday - well, I finished this amazing custom order cushion cover!  The customer requested a horse cushion.  So I searched the interwebs, and given this was for a 10 year old girl, I figured the horse should look as realistic as possible!  I used THIS pattern.

Custom order Folkart Horse Cushion

Fast forward to when I cut out all the pieces of pattern and nearly died at what I had in front of me!  But I am SO glad I didn't chicken out and just jumped in.  I am absolutely in love with the finished product and can't wait to send it off to the customer.  I used a multitude of fabrics and pieced and quilted it using 40wt Aurifil threads in brown, turquoise and pink.

Custom order Folkart Horse Cushion

And a little Wee Wander for the backing!

Phew.  That's it - for now!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Confetti Cannon

When the MQG sent out an email a few months ago, regarding the Quiltcon Michael Miller challenge, I very quickly signed up thinking "this will be fun!"  I received my little bundle of pastel cotton couture weeks later and thought "Ummmmmm".  I had no idea how to make the pastels work.  I mean, I've only ever used pastels a few times in my quilting life, so was left a bit deflated.  I took them out again not long after and just stared at them.  That was when I thought of Confetti.  The tiny little pieces of pastel paper, which are used in celebrations everywhere.  And that was my inspiration......

I went "old school" for the planning of this quilt.  After weeks of having confetti twirling around in my head, I got myself some grid paper and pencils, and literally just drew up what I'd been thinking of.  And the following day, made the entire quilt top.

Confetti Cannon

As per usual, I winged it a bit!  I made it up as I went along - literally dividing my design up in to blocks of squares of rectangles, however the little confetti spots would fit in.  The 3" snowball blocks were easy-peasy.  34 in total.  Because I wanted the confetti to be randomly scattered throughout the quilt top, it made the piecing rather, shall we say "interesting"?  It is probably what some Modern peeps would call "improvisational" - I just call it random!  But it worked - and that was the end result I was after...

Confetti Cannon 

Once I had the top made, I thought and thought and thought about how on earth I was going to quilt it.  I had an idea in my head, but thankfully one of my lovely MQG friends - Katrina - cemented the idea and helped me visualise it!  I think the diagonal lines from the bottom corner help create movement and project the confetti up in to the air!

Confetti Cannon 

I mostly stuck with the grey for the binding, but also added a little pastel rainbow to the side.  I LOVE it!

Confetti Cannon 

This photo shows you a little more closely how the piecing has been done.  It's one very fiddly jigsaw puzzle!

Confetti Cannon 

The Michael Miller challenge rules are to use all Cotton Couture in the quilt top and then any Michael Miller fabric for the binding and backing.  I made a quick trip down to the large quilting store nearby and scoured their shelves for something to suit as backing.  This quilt was always going to be for a baby/child, so when I stumbled (literally, I stumbled over it) over this Backyard Baby print, I grabbed it!  It's SO perfect.

Confetti Cannon 

It's a little difficult to photograph, but I used several pastel shades of Aurifil in the quilting - re-threading my machine after every. single. row.  Was it time consuming?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Yes!!

Confetti Cannon

I spent all day Saturday stressing about the photos to submit!  You see, I've never actually entered a quilt show!  And the rules state only two photographs to be sent in - one hanging on a wall and the other a close up.  So I moved furniture in my front room so as not to get any shadows and did my best!  I guess only time will tell.....

I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge - because it really was a challenge!  Throw a girl some pastels and see what she can come up with!

The Stats:

Name:  Confetti Cannon
Size: 40" x 60"
Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture pastels & Ozone.  
Backing:  Michael Miller Backyard Baby
Quilting:  By Me on my Bernina
Thread:  Aurifil 40wt Pastels

I'm linking up - You can too!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fast & Furious

The Festival of Forties has literally taken over my life these past few weeks......My best friends and I are all turning 40 over the next 12 months, and the first two are now done and dusted!  So between parties, Cuban Jazz Festivals and a WHOLE weekend child free in Sydney - there hasn't been much sewing getting done!  I've also been very blessed with the company of another best friend, who arrived here on Friday for a long weekend with us!

Anyway...... Monday last week, I drove down to the local Officeworks and got myself some old school supplies and sat down to draw up the idea for my Quiltcon Challenge quilt, that had been rolling around in my head for weeks!

So I just went to officeworks and bought a grid book and supplies because I really need to pull my finger out and get my #quiltconchallenge quilt designed and finished by the end of this month! #thiswillbeinteresting #canidoit also had a lovely chat with

Can you believe I had never used grid paper to design a quilt??  It was very cathartic.

And we have a start! #quiltconchallenge 

The next morning, I put that plan in to action.  Using very basic math, I made a tonne (OK, not a tonne, but lots) of teeny little snowball blocks, and then set about trying to make the before-mentioned "pattern" work.

I did it! My #quiltconchallenge top is done! Now I just need to baste, quilt and bind it! #graphpaperisthebomb #pastelisthenewblack @michaelmillerfabrics 

It was no easy feat, but I did it.  It's a lovely little splatter of pastels.......something I never thought I would ever say about a quilt I'd designed and made.  But yes, I did.

This could break all records here for quick quilt finishes! Just need time to quilt now! #quiltconchallenge 

It is currently basted, rolled up and patiently awaiting quilting.  Which will hopefully happen tomorrow.  Because it's the only day I have between now and the end of November - when this little creation is due for submission!  Another thing I never thought I would ever do!

So - there you have it.  I've almost finished my first ever Quiltcon Challenge quilt!  Watch this space.....

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Stash - Tokyo Part Two

Now, where were we?  Oh, that's right - the fabric!


In total, I returned to Melbourne with 14 kilos of fabric.  Which is quite considerable!  But what I can tell you is this - I was actually very picky about my purchases!  I really thought about the fabric I chose, basically because I knew I'd have to get it home and also be able to fit it in my house.  I'm pleased to say I am very happy with each and every piece of fabric I chose....So, here goes.....


When Alyce and I walked in to Tomato, we stepped in to an alternate universe, where bolts of Melody Miller fabric were sitting patiently awaiting attention.  I knew there was plenty there, so whilst they continued waiting, I walked around the corner from the bolts and nearly fell over my jaw which was dragging on the ground.  Huge rolls of wide Melody Miller prints.  HUGE I tell you!  AND $4 A METRE!  Just let that sink in for a minute.  $4. A. METRE.  It took about 30 seconds for Alyce and I to crash tackle the rolls and join them to our hip.  I'm proud to report we emptied the roll of arrows between us.  I think we got four metres each.  There's about the same of the other two up there also.  Great quilt backings in my future.....


We returned to the smaller bolts a little later, and I happily got myself some telephones and roller skates.  What for?  Who knows!


I bought these gorgeous linen blends from Pandora House.  I think I have three metres of each, but once I was home, I wished I had more!  I've fallen in love with linen this year.


All of the little precuts on the bottom of this photo are from Tomato.  Some Sarah Jane, Kate Spain and Cotton + Steel to name a few......  The geometry print and Ghastlies Xmas were from the shop I can't remember the name of!


All of this deliciousness came from Pandora House also.  Love me some low vol prints.


Tomato's extensive range of American Designer prints was very satisfying.  I was able to get some Cotton + Steel prints I didn't have, as well as stock up on a couple I really love.  These were all around $10 a metre.


Now, if you ever head to Nippori, there's a little pre-cuts store down the street from Tomato.  The cuts are all in clear packaging and they are all DIRT CHEAP.  The pink C+S butterflies was a 2m cut for $12!!!!!!  AMH was from Tomato in the remnants and the pretty deer print was from Yuzawaya in Ginza.  I had a morning to kill time one day by myself, so printed off the address and hailed a cab.  I had been told great tales about the Yuzawaya stores (think Spotlight, but way better), but I have to say I was a little disappointed with the newly opened Ginza store.  I think it's quite small compared to others!  I still managed to find some goodies though....


These two double gauze prints were from the precut heaven.  Enchino on the left and Nani Iro on the right.  I bought both to make dresses/tops for my big girl.


And another win from precut heaven - Jolli Pomme.  I think these were about $6 per metre!!!!


Japan obviously has an amazing supply of Enchino!  I picked up various different prints from all of the stores I went to.  And they were all around $10 per metre.  A few were remnants and were even cheaper.


And a close up - because the colours of these fabrics are sublime....


I grabbed a few novelty prints!  Frozen fabric for my husband's cousin who wants me to make her nurse scrubs, as she works in a children's hospital.  And princesses and unicorns, because - why not?


One of the few things I specifically marked on my shopping list to purchase whilst in Tokyo was Liberty.  I am one of the few quilters who did not own any Liberty.  And basically only because of the cost factor.  Here in Australia, we pay around $60 per metre for Liberty, which is just so far out of my budget it's not even funny!  Given it was half that price in Japan, I selected a number of prints I REALLY liked (because it's still frigging expensive!) and got myself 30cm cuts of each of them.  I really adore the Hello Kitty range of Liberty, so made sure to get some (far left).  I also realised I really am more of a geometric girl when it comes to their prints.  But there are a few florals I threw in for good measure.

Oh and probably my favourite find..... My Enchino umbrella! 

But you know what I really got excited about??  I bought myself an Enchino umbrella!!!!!!!  I was bummed I couldn't get one of the long ones, but hey, who cares!

And this is my mum's fabric. #imustloveher

Last but not least - I also did some serious fabric shopping for my Mum.  She put in a special request for lots of indigo fabrics - which I had absolutely no problem finding!  I also got gorgeous precuts of Japanese fabrics and a few bright American designer prints.


I hope you're still with me!  That, my friends, is my fabric tale from Tokyo!  I did SOOO much more than fabric shopping whilst there, and have a million tales to tell.  But will save them for another day.  Tokyo is an amazing city, and the Japanese people are sooooo beautiful.  If you ever have the opportunity to travel there - GO!!!!
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