Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ruby Star Winnings!

Just before Christmas, I made a couple of Gift card holders to enter in the Ruby Star Wrapping contest at Sew Mama Sew. There were many amazing entries in this competition so I was extremely surprised when my project was selected in second place

And yesterday I received a parcel containing some beautiful fabric and trim, a sweet handwritten note from Melody herself, and a copy of the fabulous Ruby Star Wrapping book, which I am really looking forward to having a proper look through this weekend. Thank you so much SMS and Melody Miller for these lovely prizes!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I have made a start on the AMH feather blocks for Lorena from the AusModBeeShe sent some lovely strips from her AMH fabric collection to make them with and also organised some acrylic templates which make the cutting so easy!
And in preparation for the Triple Zip Along, I have some 2 inch squares cut out to make a small pouch - I am using Ayumi's @ Pink Penguin's Patchwork wristlet tutorial for this one.
I have never inserted a zipper before so thought i should try a simpler project before tackling the 3 used in Debbie's cute pouch
A Quilter’s Table 
.Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My first Bee block!

I am in a couple of bees this year, the AusMod Bee and the Simply Solids bee in the Fallow group which is the Australasian group. Adrianne was first up in the solids bee and she asked us to make some HST blocks in the style of Katie's HST love quilts using a tutorial by Jeni at In Color Order. 
I was a bit nervous about joining the bee and being able to make the blocks needed but have made HST's before so this block wasn't too tricky. 
And on Friday I posted off my first swap parcel for this year. 
For the Sew Sew Modern swap we were required to make one large item and a smaller item to go with it -  to coordinate with the 241 tote, I made a key fob and business/loyalty card holder in matching aqua and orange fabrics.
So this parcel is now on its long journey across the world - hope it makes it there safe and sound.
Fresh Poppy Design
Linking to Fabric Tuesdai at Quiltstory. Kirsten.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On this Australia Day...

Happy Australia Day!! I really love seeing how Google chooses a theme for each day. 

Unlike last year when we had hardly any mangoes on our tree, this year it is brimming with them due to a drier winter and early spring.
We made Beef and Mango stirfry for dinner last week using our own Bowen mangoes (recipe here) and will definitely be making it again tonight as we have so many mangoes on the tree now. For dessert, these mini pavlovas with chocolate and lime syrup look delicious, as does this mango pavlova rollmango and passionfruit are such a perfect summery combination!  
We just have to try and pick them off the tree before the fruit bats/flying foxes and rainbow lorikeets eat them all - they are now working in pairs to finish them off even quicker! 
Our twin teenage sons are experts at climbing the tree now and they just knock the mangoes off the branches so we can catch them.
 The chore of picking up the half eaten ones laying around under the tree is not as much fun though!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Visit your LQS day!

Today is "Visit your Local Quilt Shop " day ! My LQS is a quaint little place in South LIsmore, NSW called "Rainbow Patchwork" and is run by the lovely and very helpful Karen. It has been open for just over 18 months and carries a wonderful stock of bright and colourful Kaffe prints.
As well as a rainbow of Moda Bella solids:
Karen has a Gammill long arm quilting machine in the store which she quilted my Swoon quilt on for me last year- this Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt that is being done at the moment is so cute: 
There are some very nice examples of the beautiful quilting hanging around the store:
The solids quilt is stunning and I really love this Owl quilt in Ruby:
Ruby is probably my favourite fabric line that is stocked there - I made a Braided tote in a class here just over a year ago similar to the one hanging off the stand:.
And some gorgeous flannels including some from the Marmalade range, and I also spotted some Kaffe shot cottons that Karen had just received and will be getting in lots more colours.
And there are some fabulous sewing accessories available too - I bought a set of Drunkards Path templates in 3 and 4 inch sizes which I think will be very useful.

And you never know who you are going to bump into at your local store - I met Fiona from Findng Fifth for the first time this morning when we were both taking photos so please pop over to her blog to see more pics! Hopefully we will be able to catch up with each other soon at the upcoming Sunday Sew-in sessions at the store.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday.

I didn't get a lot done the past few days as I was out for most of the weekend - firstly up to Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coat to see "Tap Dogs" which was just incredible!  And then on Sunday we took our daughter and her friend to the Big Day Out music festival, again on the Gold Coast - we filled in the hours until 11 pm when it finished by shopping, went to see "The Hobbit" and had a lovely dinner together then arrived just in time for the Red Hot Chili Peppers (we could hear them from the carpark) who were the last band to play so we didn't get home until 3am!
But I have managed to get the borders sewn on the Architextures quilt  bringing it to about 70 x 80 inches which should be big enough for my husband as he is quite tall.
And I am in the process of making the small item for the Sew Sew Modern Swap too - something that will go with this quilted 241 bag:
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sew Sew Modern swap

I joined the Sew Sew Modern swap back in about September last year, thinking that with the due date in late January that there was plenty of time to make something for my partner - but the deadline is sneaking up very fast now so I have decided to go ahead and make a tote bag which was my partners first choice.
This is the 241 tote pattern from Anna at  Noodlehead which I have made a few times previously.  The patchwork panel was fun to make but as I put a layer of batting between the fabric and the interfacing before quilting, was a bit of a struggle to sew together as it was quite bulky.
I put a print on the other side - I think it would have been almost impossible to sew the bag together if I had quilted both panels!
And I used a matching aqua linen for the pockets, along with some natural linen for the sides and strap, and just made a small slip pocket for the inside of the bag..
I really hope my partner likes this, and I just need to make a small coordinating item now ready to post next week.
Linking to Friday Felicities and to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Sew Sew Modern item

The items for the Sew Sew Modern swap are due to be mailed soon and although I have been thinking about what to make for my partner, only really got organised to start on it this week.
These are some fabrics that I am thinking of using to make a bag or tote for her in some orange and aqua colours that she seems to like:
So I have cut out the interfacing ready to make a 241 bag - not sure if I am going to go for a scrappy/QAYG panel or just use the fabrics on their own with the linen.

ETA; Here is the patchwork panel that I have quilted for the bag - the pockets will be in the aqua linen, with the strap in the natural linen.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Linking to Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pattern testing!

Late last year,  I saw a gorgeous quilt made by the lovely Jessica who has a blog @ Sew Crafty Jess. She called it Lucky Square and made it in one of my favourite fabrics  (Chicopee) which looks stunning in this design against the white background.  Anyway, Jess called for some pattern testers and I put my hand up right away.  I had wanted to make a quilt for my husband for our wedding anniversary coming up soon, and I really loved Jess's pattern as I thought it would be quite suited to more masculine fabrics also.
So, once Jess had emailed the pattern to me, I ordered a FQ bundle of the newly released Carolyn Friedlander Architextures fabric from Amanda and then started making this quilt. I decided to make the Lap Size of the quilt which measures  58 x 68". There are lot of squares to cut and sew for the quilt but the small scale of the Architextures prints was just right for the tiny squares. For the background I used a Prima solid in Coal which gave more contrast than the Ash that I was originally planning to use.
The pattern came together really quickly as the squares can be chain pieced to form the main blocks - the whole quilt only took me about 4 days to make! There are only four seams to match when making the blocks so they were quite easy, then it is just a matter of joining the blocks and putting the rows together with sashing to create the fabulous visual effect of the connecting squares. I only used just over half of the 17 FQ of the Architextures bundle so have lots left over for other projects.
This is Jess's first pattern for sale -she has written it extremely well and the diagrams regarding how to put the quilt together are very clear. Jess has this pattern written up in 4 sizes: baby, lap (as I made), twin and queen - and as Adrianne has done with her version of the quilt, it is easy to make modifications by adding or leaving out a row to make a slightly different size.
Jess is releasing the "Lucky Square" pattern for sale today so please hop over to her blog to see the other lovely versions of the quilt made by her team of pattern testers (AdrianneAlisonBrooke, Deb, Jess, KelseyMichelle, and Marla). 
Linking up with Plum and June and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story (buttons in sidebar).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Golden Anniversary!

My parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend which is a wonderful achievement! My mum and dad have known each other all of their lives as they are actually 3rd cousins - there is a really cute photo of them together being pushed in their prams by their mothers which I don't have a copy of here, but here are a couple from their wedding in 1963.
Their maid of honour and best man married each other the following year - they are also my godparents and my parents catch up with them quite frequently.  
This photo was taken with their parents - sadly none of the others in this photo are still alive as the last of my grandparents passed away just over a year ago, so it is a very special photo. Congratulations mum and dad - love you! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday - "Phoebe"

I have all of the pieces cut out for my Phoebe elephant - I am using a matchng green felt for some of the pieces too. And I think she will be very pretty in the Ruby fabric.
I have made a couple of soft toys before but was quite pleased to find a tutorial on the Melly and Me blog about making up patterns like this one as I had no idea how to do the legs properly! The Scottie dog was made from a free pattern on the Denyse Schmidt site, and the owl was from a Saffron Craig fabric panel.
I am also making good progress on the Architextures quilt but more on that later........
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Just Three for January

I am hoping that these Just Three linkups will help me keep on track as I have also committed to 2 bees this year! Looking back to December, these were my goals, all of which were achieved:
1. A pillow for my brother: 
2. Attempt to make my first coin purse - using a couple of Sew-in frames:
3. Finished off the Swoon quilt by the end of the year - even though it is too warm here to use it now it will be ready for next winter.
 My goals for this month are to:
1. Start on a quilt for my hubby from this fabulous Architextures fabric:
2. Make the items for my partner for the Sew Sew Modern Swap - I have quite a few ideas of what to do.

3. Sew up this cute Phoebe elephant pattern by Melly and Me using some grey Ruby fabric:
Linking to Just Three with Tracey.

traceyjay quilts