May 31, 2010

my to do list

When I finished my Wonderland quilt the other day I remembered I'd made a post last year with my 'to do' list in it.  I was attempting to finish off a few things I'd started and actually make a few things for which I'd purchased fabric.

Well the list was:

1. patchwork sewing machine cover similar to ones seen recently on Sew Mama Sew
2. cushions for my mum made from green material purchased while on holidays in March
3. cushions for my new red couch made from Wonderland material
4. throw rug for my couch made from Wonderland material
5. bind quilt made for friend's daughter (whose birthday was in February!)
6. sandwich and quilt and bind my hexagon quilt and my red stack and slash quilt
7. other random cushions
8. and finally -start to think about this years Christmas pressies.

And I can actually say that I have made the sewing machine cover, made cushions for Mum from the green material, made my Wonderland cushions and throw rug, bound the quilt for my friend's daughter, sandwiched and bound and finished my stack and slash quilt and made the Christmas pressies.
So that just leaves my hexagon quilt and other random cushions.  I have been investigating having my hexagon quilt professionally quilted, because it's quite big and I really want it to look good.  And the random cushions...... maybe later!  :)

And for my new list:

1.  write up a couple of my own patterns
2.  have the hexagon quilt professionally quilted
3.  start a 'quilt as you go' project - maybe some cushions to start with?
4.  make a runner for across the bottom of my bed.

I think that will do for today!

Wonderland quilt finished and a little gift

The Wonderland quilt I started a while back is now finished and being fully utilised in my lounge room.

I chose Kona Cotton in "Delft" for the binding and backing.  The binding against the brightness of the Wonderland fabric gives it a lovely muted look, picking up on the little bits of blue throughout the quilt.  I didn't do a lot of quilting on it but I thoroughly enjoyed making the binding this time and I think my corners are vastly improved.  I used 10cm wide fabric to make the binding this time and am much more pleased with the plush look the wider binding gives.

Overall it was a much more pleasant experience than the first attempt I had at quilting and binding and I can definately see that my skills have improved.

I also made this cute fabric into a little girl's tablecloth and 4 napkins.  Miss Ellie's 5th birthday is tomorrow and she loves to bake in her little kitchen as well as in Mummy's big one.

May 27, 2010

International Fat Quarter Swap - Closing Soon!

International Fat Quarter swap registrations are closing soon! If you haven't already registered - please do. We have some great people already signed up from Portugal, Holland, South Africa and of course the USA and Australia.

So if you would like to meet like minded crafty types from all over the world and swap unique fat quarters with them - please leave a comment with your email address.

May 26, 2010

Sneak peek - pattern test for Pepperberry & Co

Just a little sneaky peek of a pattern I tested for Sandra of Pepperberry & Co the other week.

The pattern should be available soon!

English Paper Piecing

English paper piecing is a style which has become very close to my heart over the last few years. Making a whole quilt in this way is very labour intensive, it's by no means a quick project, but I find making the hexagons very soothing. Especially sitting on the couch at night in front of the tv doing a little bit of sewing by hand, rather than stuck in front of the sewing machine in the other room being anti-social.The technique of English Paper Piecing dates back to the 18th century in England and quilts with the papers still intact are a valuable link to history. Often the templates were cut from newspapers and little snippets of life can be gathered from these pieces of newspaper. Unfortunately if you leave the papers in, your quilt has quite a 'crinkly' sound in the end!

English paper piecing differs from foundation block piecing or regular paper piecing as all blocks are the same throughout the quilt. History also refers to them as honeycomb quilts or six sided patchwork.The term "Grandmother's Flower Garden" refers to hexagons assembled in a particular style - with one green hexagon in the middle surrounded by 6 coloured hexagons and often then surrounded by a border of white or neutral coloured hexagons - giving the impression of flowers. Hexagon quilts were very popular around the time of the Great Depression and World Wars as it was (and still is) a great way to use up scraps of fabric.

The hexagons I'm currently working on for my 'Go With the Flow' family project are in the Grandmother's Flower Garden style. This style can also be seen in the World's Biggest Hexagon Quilt Challenge quilt. These hexagons have sides of approximately 1 inch.

The more traditional style of hexagon quilt, where there is no pattern of colour, can be seen here above. I completed this top using only 2 inch hexagons in predominantly green and blue fabrics. It measures 50 inches by 70 inches and took me about 18 months to complete (on and off). This is a stunning example of English Paper Piecing - completed by a French quilt artist. It's a very modern version of an old technique. This French quilt top was appliqued onto a neutral background. I chose to finish mine with half hexagons to give a flush side then adding a border (as in the first photo). I have seen some older quilts though that are left with the 'wonky' sides and quilted and bound that way.

I have compiled a tutorial to English Paper Piecing which will soon be available for download.

I'd love to see your hexagons!

May 21, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - WINNER!!

After much counting and rubbing of eyes - I have a winner! I had 669 entries in total so firstly a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who entered.

Mr has selected entry number 270 which is Aimee!

Congratulations Aimee, please have a look in your inbox for a email from with with details of how to claim your prize.

And to everyone else - thank you so much for your participation. I hope that you will visit me again!

Sew Mam Sew Giveaway - now closed

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my giveaway. Entries are now closed.

I will be compiling the list of entrants over the weekend and will draw the random winner.

Thank you to all new and existing followers of the blog and I hope to bring you some exciting new projects in the future.

And if you haven't done so already, please register for the International Fat Quarter Swap!

May 19, 2010

International Fat Quarter Swap

Many people who have commented on my giveaway post have expressed interest in the Australian designed fabrics we are giving away.

So I am proposing an International Fat Quarter Swap. People from different countries will be paired up and they get to send a fat quarter to each other which is typical of their country. Be it designed by someone of their nationality, printed in their country or contain a theme that is typical of their country. Obviously the stronger the link to your country the better!

If you would like to take part, please leave a comment with your email address and your nationality on this post. You will then be paired with someone from a different country and emails exchanged. Obviously you have to be willing to ship internationally for this to work!

Lets try and find the most unique and beautiful your country has to offer!

May 17, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Welcome to my first giveaway! Sew Mama Sew have generously decided to co ordinate the giveaway day again so I couldn't wait to jump on board.

For my giveaway I've teamed up with a special friend from blogland - Fresh Fabric Australia!
Amber and I have put together a special giveaway, combining the best of Australian fabrics with the choice of fabrics from her store.

The winner will receive a $25 (US) voucher to Fresh Fabric Australia - to choose whatever fabrics they like.

They will also receive a fat quarter of independant Australian Designer Lara Cameron's Bonsai in Snow
And Birch Forest in Green.

Postage will also be covered to anywhere in the World!

Entries are now closed. Thank you for your participation!

Entries close Midnight May 20th (US time).
That is 2pm Friday 21st Australian Eastern time.

May 15, 2010

more hexagons!

The hexagon production is continuing, although it has been a bit slow this week.

Here are a few of the latest fabric choices. I'm up to about 35 completed rosettes so not too many to go. I believe my mother in law and one sister in law are finished, the other sister in law wasn't given her instructions til later so she gets an extension!Mum is powering along with her rosettes although I think Aunty is lagging behind a bit too - hurry up Dor!

I also snapped up this great book the other day, in an attempt to improve my piecing skills. Am desperately trying to get those corners to line up!

I also whipped up a couple of coasters for my Mum for Mother's day. I bought this Japanese print at the craft show and it was perfect for cutting into pieces and making into coasters. I had enough in a half metre piece to make 16 double sided coasters. Mum got half and the other half are for a gift.

Make sure you check back early next week - I'm participating in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day - and I think you'll like the prize!

Sew Mama Sew fat quarter swap

Recently Sew Mama Sew held their annual fat quarter swap. I had such a great experience last year that I couldn't wait to sign up again this year.

From my ladies I received these fabrics. Each of them absolutely gorgeous.

Thank you so much girls!

And in return I sent this buttefly fabric, and saved a bit for myself, from which I've already made some hexagons as you can see!

May 5, 2010

wind powered knitting machine

From the world of geek (my husband) and semi-useless inventions comes the wind powered knitting machine. Apparently the owner/inventor does sell the resulting scarves, but as you can see from the comments, the machine has its limitations!

What next?
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