Thursday, September 25, 2014

Amy Butler Aussie Charm Swap - Sign Up Is NOW OPEN!

The sign ups are now officially open for the Amy Butler Aussie Charm Swap!  Amy has some of the most vibrant and decadent fabric lines EVER, and I think 112 of her fabrics mixed together will be stunning!

Here are the details:

1) FIRST IN, BEST DRESSED!  This swap will be open to 56 participants, me being one of those!  You HAVE to email me to obtain a spot.  Your spot is not confirmed until you have received a return email from me! All of Amy Butler's fabric lines except for the SOLIDS can be included. The included lines are listed below.

2) Each spot is 2 Amy Butler fabrics, 1 yard of each, and I strongly suggest that you purchase at least 1/4 yard more in case of any cutting mistakes you might experience.  Better safe than sorry.

3) Fabric must be new and unwashed and from a smoke free environment.

4) Press your fabric and remove the selvages before cutting. Cut your yardage into 5 inch squares (56 per yard) total = 112 charms. You can follow the great tutorial on how to cut your charms from yardage by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Frannson! found here.  Please sort your charms in to pairs, as demonstrated in this photo:

5) Post them out to me by 14th of October. Put them in a Ziplock bag and include your 112 charms, an index card with your name, mailing address and email address (in case your package opens up, your charms will stay safe and dry and your contact info will get them back to you. You must post them to me using a PRE-PAID SATCHEL.  You must also include a SELF ADDRESSED PRE-PAID SATCHEL so that your charms can be mailed back to you. Unfortunately due to the cost and complexity of shipping back internationally, this swap will be for Australian/Kiwi participants only.  Kiwi participants will be required to send a return shipping satchel, and will be invoiced via Paypal for return postage.
  Once I receive them all I will sort and return a stack of 112 different charms to each participant! You can sign up for ONE SPOT, however, if there are spots remaining after one week, I will open up those remaining spots to existing swap members.  They will be in the mail to you 2-3 weeks later. I will be aiming to have them all in the return post by end of October/start of November - fingers crossed!

6) Very important!!! Please choose fabrics that have not been claimed by another swap member. Please join the AMY BUTLER AUSSIE CHARM SWAP FACEBOOK GROUP - Once you have had your spot CONFIRMED, then check in the FB photo album before purchasing fabrics to see what has already been chosen; we want to avoid duplicates. Once you have chosen your fabrics please post pictures, with the Fabric line and specific print/colour information to the Facebook group Photo Album.  Once you've chosen your fabrics make sure you add the photos AND include the name/description of them.

7.  There is a $5 fee per swap spot.  This is to be paid via Paypal, once your spot is confirmed.  
So who wants to join in on the Amy Butler fabric fun?
Your Name
Mailing Address
Email Address
Phone Number (just in case)
Blog address (if you have one)

When I email you and confirm that you are in the swap, I will include my postal address and Paypal information.

Here are all the Amy Butler fabric lines that are included in this swap. Remember, no SOLIDS fabrics. Some of the older lines are a bit hard to find, but Google is your friend!

Amy fabric lines

Grab the new blog button and feel free to spread the news if you'd like!


Ms Midge

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Make Modern Magazine & My Pavement Puddles

Today is my day on the Make Modern Blog Hop.  I know I've spruiked about the magazine and my contribution when it first came out, but today I get to tell you how my Pavement Puddles quilt came about!

 I went through varying stages of ideas and designs for ideas before I finally got to my submission.  There was talk of a laptop cover - which I got 3/4 of the way through before stuffing it up and having a meltdown.  Then I was going to do a giant floor cushion cover - before I changed my mind again and, you guessed it,  cue the meltdown.  Eventually, it was me not getting through to the Sewvivor top 16 that cemented my quilt submission!  You see, Pavement Puddles began in the upstairs of GJ's in Brunswick - where I spent a Saturday sewing with some blogging friends.  I'd finished the paper piecing I had taken with me, and decided to pull out my Horizon jelly roll. I had earmarked a hexie project in the hope that I would make it in to Sewvivor and would need a hexie project!

Anyway, I wandered downstairs to the shop floor and found the Peppered cotton by Studio E, bought myself a metre and went on my way.  After constructing my first few hexies, I knew it was a winner!  I marched straight back downstairs and bought the last two metres of the peppered cotton, and took it all home and put it on the shelf....

Fast forward a few days later, and finding out I was a not going to need the hexie project, I took this little old photo and sent it through to the MM gals.....

And asked if this hexie quilt idea would be one they'd like for their magazine?  Then fell over with relief when the answer was Yes!

Anyway, I guess the moral of that story is - Missing out on being a Sewvivor contestant really was the best thing to happen to me at that very time!  Because as they say - the rest is history!

Pavement Puddles came together as a quilt remarkably fast.  For some remarkable reason, my lack of mathematical ability flew out the door, and all of my measurements worked out! But as usual, I decided I needed to throw a spanner in the works, and emailed Kate & Pete Spain to see whether they could help me source some yardage for the backing.  They were incredibly generous and helpful, and a week later, I had backing fabric in my hot little hands.  Needless to say, I got the quilt finished and submitted in the nick of time!



I named it "Pavement Puddles" because it reminds me of the colourful puddles left on the pavement after a sun shower.

Sooooooo, that's how my first ever submission for publishing rolled.  It was a giant learning process for me, and the ladies at MM were the best cheerleaders around!  

Now, if you haven't already subscribed to Make Modern, or bought yourself the first copy - you can pop over and sort that out right now!!

And if you want some background tales from the other contributors, you can check them out here:

Full Blog Tour Roster:
1st September                   Make Modern
3rd September                   Kristy @ Quiet Play
5th September                   Where Jane Creates
7th September                   Gina @ Party of Eight: Our Story
9th September                   Molli Sparkles
11th September                 Juliet @ The Tartan Kiwi
13th September                 cat&vee
15th September                 Ruth @ Ben and Charly’s corner
17th September                 Kelly @ Kelliotmagic
19th September                 Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts
21st September                 Serena @ Sew Giving
23rd September                 Melissa @ Ms Midge
25th September                 Anne @ Hudson Valley Quilts

And if you haven't read the first issue, then I guess you wouldn't know that I'm also writing a little old column each issue!  That's right - I am now to be referred to as the "Domestic Quilting Goddess"...... I'm still laughing.  Each issue, I will be giving a little bit of my own basic quilting advice from my own experience, quilting on my little Bernina.

Thanks for having me Make Modern! x

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bonnie & Camille Charm-Along!

Now that the Bonnie & Camille Aussie Charm Swap has wrapped up, I had to find something else to do with my time!  So I've managed to round up some fabulous Australian sponsors with some fabulous prizes - and have created the Bonnie & Camille Charm Along!

WHAT?!?!?  I hear you say....

Well, I want you to go forth with your Bonnie & Camille charms and CREATE!  It does not have to be a quilt, it can be whatever your little heart desires, or whatever your charm squares tell you they need to be - BUT they have to be Bonnie & Camille charms!

Do I have to be an Aussie Charm Swapper to be involved?

NO!!!  This Charm Along is open to EVERYONE around the world - BUT you have to be using Bonnie & Camille charms and you have to agree that if you win one of the lovely prizes and you live outside of Australia,  you will pay for shipping, direct to the sponsor.

So - how is this going to work?

Go and find all your Bonnie & Camille fabric and turn it in to charm square heaven.  Then turn those charm squares in to something you truly love!  You will have FOUR weeks from today, and I will then open up a big old linky for you to join in and show me your projects!  The linky will open on Monday the 20th of October and will close on Monday the 27th of October.

What's in it for you?

Well, I have a few little prizes up for grabs.

The lovely Camille Roskelley has offered FIVE lucky participants their choice of ONE PDF pattern from her amazing range - including a couple of stunning new patterns!
A $50 voucher to spend on the amazing range of Quilter's Solids at The Oz Material Girls.  
(Part of voucher is to cover postage costs).

Live Love Sew has kindly donated a Scrumptious Layer Cake AND a copy of her X's & O's quilt pattern!

Sponsored prize description coming soon!
Machine embroidered Towel, hand towel & face washer set, made to order, kindly donated by one of our charm swap members - Meg Pease.

A SIX MONTH subscription to Make Modern Magazine! Please note: You will receive access to the next three Make Modern issues published after you subscribe. If you subscribe after Issue 1 is published on 1 September, you will receive Issue 2 onwards

AND - if that wasn't motivation enough - getting involved in the charm-along means you get to use all those beautiful fabrics you have just been staring at!  Win win!

Looking for charm inspiration?  Head over to my Charm Square LOVE Pinterest board and check out all the amazing projects.  You can also see all of the Kate Spain Charm Along Participants HERE.

So - what are you waiting for?  Grab the button below and join in!

Ms Midge

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Stash - New Stuff

Some of you may remember the very recent Homespun-gate, which lead to my Bernina's meltdown?  Well, since then I have been investigating my options for good solid solids.  I've asked in a couple of my favourite FB groups, and have been given a range of leads, from Bella to Kona; Art Gallery to Michael Miller.  The majority of those beauties retail in Australia, on average, for around $14 per metre.  Now, given I have been used to using solids that cost around $7 per metre, I just about spat my peppermint tea out when doing such research!  I know, I know - quality blah blah blah.  But my dollar is very important to me, and I like to see it spent wisely.

Sooooo, a while back, my lovely friend Louise from The Oz Material Girls, sent me a sample pack of their quilter's solids.  I took this little pack out again a couple of weeks ago, midst research, and gave them a good looking over, as well as a good feel.  And then decided to jump in and order myself some.  I was able to take out the fat quarter pack of Nightshade I was using for a project, and hold the little sample squares up to them and figure out which colours I required.....

Just received a big bundle of new quilting cotton solids from @theozmaterialgirls great service as I only order yesterday mid afternoon and they express posted for me! I'm going to attempt to use my #nightshade this weekend....

The following day, these lovelies arrived (Yes, Louise even express posts if you ask her nicely).  And I have to say, they are beautiful.  And only $9 per metre.  I made up my quilt top over the following couple of days, and was REALLY happy with how lovely they are to work with.  I could just become a convert.  If you want to try them out, you'll find them HERE.

P.s. - This is NOT a sponsored post.  I just like to tell you when I find something I like.

Another new addition to the stash......

I love fabric deliveries from my #tokyobff her kids need new kindy bags and some frozen fabric for my chloe

Was this little bundle of brightness.  Straight from Tokyo via the Tokyo BFF.  The Japanese characters you saw in a little bag last week.  And the Disney Frozen prints were sent "just because".  So I've whipped up a couple of cute simple little skirts - one for my daughter, and one for my God-daughter in Tokyo.  I have some decent sized off cuts, so am thinking I'll make up a few zippered pouches or messenger bags for gifts and/or to sell.

And last, but certainly not least.....

Thank you thank you thank you!!! @alexveronelli #aurifil #ineedathreadstand

This amazing parcel of Aurifil goodness arrived this week! I know, I know, Aurifil is not new around these digs, but some of the products in this parcel are!  You see, the lovely Alex Veronelli asked a favour of me on IG a couple of weeks ago - to see how many bobbins it takes to empty a 50wt spool of thread?  I quite happily obliged, and he very generously sent me all of this in return!

Now, admittedly, I have only ever used 40 & 50wt thread, because you know I'm no hand sewing fiend!  But these lovely little wooden spools of Floss almost make me want to!  The Lana wool thread is amazing but I need to do some more research on how to use them and well, the 28wt cotton spools will be fabulous to quilt with!  If you have any knowledge and/or advice to share with me - feel free to spill!

I hope you are all noticing an absence of new designer bundles entering my stash of late?  I finally put a stop to my purchasing in anticipation of Tokyober.  What's that I hear you say?  Well, in less than three weeks, I'll be off on my Tokyo journey.  At which time, I shall more than make up for my lack of fabric buying at present......

I'm linking up - You can too!

Molli Sparkles

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bonnie & Camille Aussie Charm Swap - It's A Wrap!

Well thank God it's finished Friday!  Here's a little eye candy for you!  The B & C Aussie Charm Swap has been completed, with all 55 bundles of yumminess sent on their way this week.  There are some very patient (and impatient!) ladies waiting around Australia and New Zealand for their new babies to arrive!

All in all, we ended up with 110 different B & C prints  - and they all look stunning together.

I'm pretty sure we covered all of the B & C fabrics lines, with a bit of everything!

A couple of my favourites - the raindrops and scallops.  I really cannot wait to put them all to good use - even though I am still yet to decide how!

In the coming week, I will be announcing the next Charm-along, with a few fabulous prizes to be shared amongst participants.  So if you have a bunch of B & C charms on your shelves, think of how you can put them together, and join in the fun!

In the meantime, I will be sleeping......

I'm linking up - You can too!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sew Cute Tuesday - Sneaking It In

A very late night sneaky post - direct from my IG feed.  Just a few little things I've managed to tick off my list the last five days.....

Another block bites the dust #londoncalling thanks for upsizing your pattern @quietplay x

London Calling has another block.  I'm loving this Umbrella that Kristy so kindly upsized her pattern for me!

This month's #wombatstew block for @mariekabespokebites I hope you like it!! #paperpieced

This month's Wombat Stew Queen - Marieka - gave us a link to a bunch of fabulous free paper piecing patterns to choose from for her.  I chose THIS one.  I love bright colours against dark grey.

Quickest little messenger bag! #zaaberry #bestaunty #thisiscomingtotokyo

Today's sewing was this fabulous little Zaaberry Messenger bag for my Tokyo BFF's son.  She sent me a few great Japanese cartoon prints - which my 11 year old daughter is in love with???!!  If you've never made one of these bags before, then you need to get to it....

#Japanese #cartoons my 11 year old daughter wants this fabric?!?

Fabulous yes?  Oh, and did you know it's almost Tokyo-tober?  Just a little over three weeks until I go......

I'm linking up - You can too!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sew Box Subscriptions - A Review

Last month, the brains behind Sew Box Subscriptions - Leesa - emailed me to ask if I would like to receive a preview box, in exchange for a review, for her new business?  "Sure" I said, not really knowing what it was all about!  I then did a little investigating so that I had some idea of what I'd got myself in for!

Fast forward to this week, and this lovely looking box was delivered to my door.....

Sewboxsubscriptions Preview Box 

Isn't she pretty?  I delicately took my time ripped open the box to reveal what was inside.....

Sewboxsubscriptions Preview Box

Ta-daaaaa!  Wowzers!  It was at about this time my eyes started to flicker, from one thing to the next, trying to decide what to pick up first!  

Sewboxsubscriptions Preview Box 

Inside was a range of items that all sewists would appreciate.  From thread to fabric, buttons to PDF patterns, there is something for everyone.  Some of the items I had never actually seen before....

Sewboxsubscriptions Preview Box

Like the magnetic pin holder thingy over there on the right.......

So, on to the review.  The Sew Box Subscription gives you a range of products to fawn over, giving you a taste of what a number of businesses can offer.  For $44 per month, including delivery, you will receive a box full of different products each month.  From what I can gather, Leesa has brought together some wonderful Australian businesses to provide you with items they stock and sell, in order for you to try them out and hopefully become a customer in the future.

I was really impressed with what I received in my box.  There is nothing in there that I won't use and I'm looking forward to looking through the PDF patterns available for free download from a couple of the participating businesses.

If you would like to subscribe to Sew Box Subscriptions, pop over to their website HERE and it will direct you to where you wish to go!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

W.I.P. Wednesday - Gaining Momentum

I wouldn't dare to count my WIP's right now.  The pile is getting a little bigger than I am comfortable with.  But two projects that are gaining a little momentum, I shall share here....

Nope.... #aquilttopthiswillnotmake #londoncalling #paperpieced 

I made another few blocks to add to my London Calling quilt.  The Underground sign, the Beef Eater and the taxi cab.  Thrilled with how it's all looking together, but was left wondering how I was going to make it a decent size quilt top?  The peeps on IG took care of that, throwing out all sorts of fabulous ideas for more blocks!  I even have the lovely Deborah Gunn sending me some underground map fabric.  I love crafty friends!  So I have now printed out a few more paper pieced patterns, and will add plenty of sashing in and around all the different sized blocks.  This has to be done and dusted by the end of October, so I'm feeling the pressure!

This is going to be one hell of a bright quilt! #aurifil @quilterpatsloan @katespain

And my Aurifil Designer of The Month quilt top is taking shape!  I caught up, making July and August's blocks last week.  But of course, now it is September and I need to get that sorted!  I am loving how bright and vibrant each block is, and think that together, it will look amazing!  If you're interested in joining this BOM, I have each block pinned on one of my Pinterest boards HERE.

I'll leave all the other WIP's for another day!

I'm linking up - You can too!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sew Cute Tuesday - Handmade Swaps

I've been remarkably busy this past week, and amongst the busy-ness, I've managed to get quite a few sewing projects finished!  I am in a number of handmade swaps and keep trying to come up with new projects I haven't made before so that not only am I learning something new, but my swap partner/gift recipient is receiving something original!

Last Friday's finish is this gorgeous little cushion.....

Finished! My little 7" version of the #repository block by @goodgollyginger is heading off in the post today! Rainbow of sorts with rainbow #aurifil quilting! #paperpieced

It WAS going to be a pin cushion, but even though I reduced the size of the pattern by 50%, 7" was still a bit big for a pin cushion!  So it became a gorgeous little mini cushion.  I used the Repository pattern from Good Golly Ginger.  I've had it downloaded for some time, and printed out regular size, but thought it would be cute in miniature - and I was right!  Lots of bright scraps used for the rainbow theme, and mixed with some Peppered Cotton


I used one of my beloved Black and White text prints for the backing with an exposed zip - my favourite kind of zip finish at present!

For my second trick, I made a trip to Spotlight this morning for some Insulbrite.  Insul-what?  The crinkly stuff you put in projects to make them heat proof.  You see, when I read Make Modern Magazine last week, I was very excited to see that Gina from Party of Eight had done a tutorial for her fabulous pot holder and tea towel sets!  (yes, I am easily excited some may say!)


I was lucky enough to receive one of these sets from Gina for my birthday in April, and was keen to make a set myself.  So I did....

Kitchen Gift Set from Make Modern Tutorial

And I am pretty damn pleased with myself!  I pulled out a bunch of Anna Maria Horner prints and some dark linen, then went to town!  You can find all the details of how to make this set, and the printable paper piecing pattern in this month's issue of Make Modern.

Kitchen Gift Set from Make Modern Tutorial

Now Gina is fabulous at hand sewing.  Me?  Not so much.  I prefer to use my machine for everything I can possibly get away with.  Which meant I used my FMQ to embroider "friendship" on the tea towel.  I used a 40wt Aurifil thread in the most divine shade of red.  You can't see in this photo, but there was a bit of pulling/tension in the fabric after I'd finished, so I think next time (yeh, guess what everyone's getting for Christmas??) I'll use some tear-away/stabilizer on the back.

Kitchen Gift Set from Make Modern Tutorial

I cut out some little hexagon templates and cut one in each size, with a little bit of fussy cutting happening!  Vlisoflex and Blanket stitching on the machine holds in all in place.

Kitchen Gift Set from Make Modern Tutorial

I love how the pot holder has turned out!  It was a little bulky to quilt, but definitely do-able!

And that, my friends, is a Sew Cute Tuesday wrap!  That's two handmade swaps out of the way, only five gazillion to go!

I'm linking up - You can too!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Stash - Secret Store Unveiled

I took a little trip to Spotlight early last week.  I needed to get some backing fabric for a customer's quilt order, and I miraculously came out with only that and a metre of shot cotton.  Shocking, I know!  On my drive home, I made a split decision to turn down a road I know leads me to a "little" habby store - because I needed to get a few zippers for cushion backs.  Now, I've been going to this store for a few years now.  My Mum directed me there and I can still remember my first venture - walking in and standing there like a stunned mullet.

Set in a smallish warehouse, amongst a small industrial area, this store stocks anything and everything you would EVER need to fulfill your crafting needs!  Rows and rows of crap amazing stuff, from diamontes to stickers and tulle to buttons.  It's friggin awesome!  Apart from the fact it gives me a minor anxiety attack every time I walk in, it's brilliant.

Anyway, I usually only pop in and head directly to their little packs of 60cm zippers, and sometimes venture over to their elastic spools.  This time, however, I decided to ask the lady counting diamontes whether they had any metal zips?  "I'm sure we do" she says, and I follow her to the far end of the store.  To this......

I'm in my secret little habby and craft shop.....40% off..... You'll find me in the zipper tubs!

Just a few of the random tubs of awesomeness to be found.  I spent the next 20 minutes fossicking through them all to find just a few I thought could be useful......

I only popped in there for a couple of zips...... 41 zips, 30m elastic, 10 magnetic snaps and 2 kids craft packs later. But all this cost only $28!!!! Theo's craft warehouse is in boronia, Melbourne and if you're prepared to fossick it will be worth a tri

Ahemmmmm.........  I may have just gotten a tad carried away?  This carrying away may have occurred when I realised they had a 40% off everything sale!  Cha-ching!  Soooo, for what it's worth, this is what I left with:

41 zips of all lengths - mostly metal.
30 metres of elastic
10 magnetic snaps (because now I know how to use them, every bag I ever make will have one)
2 kids craft packs

All for the bargain basement price of.........................  $28!  Cha-ching Cha-ching!!!

And you know what?  Even at full price, this would have been a super bargain!

So, do you want to know where my secret little store is?  Theo's Discount Craft Store is located in Macquarie Place, Boronia.  For those of you in Melbourne - head East of the city towards the Dandenongs.  It is just past the intersection of Dorset Road and Mountain Highway.  And it is well worth the trip!  I do believe they are having another sale in October.  Mark it in your diaries!

Ps.  This is not a sponsored post - I just wanted to share the habby love!


I'm linking up - You can too!

Molli Sparkles
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