Sunday, April 28, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Link-Up

Beth from Plum and June hosted a wonderful "get to know you" Blog Hop last year with lots of fab tutorials and this year it is continuing with a Monday Link-up.
Plum and June
This week I am hosting the Monday Link-up party, and thought I'd share a few of the bee blocks that I have been working on lately as this is the first year that I have been involved in quilting bees. I have joined some local Bee groups here in Australia - the AusModBee and the Simply Solids Bee (Fallow group) and it has been so lovely to get to know these groups of ladies a bit better over the months we have been sewing together. 
Bees are a great way to learn different techniques for making blocks that you may not have tried before or even just making something in a style that you would not usually do. And the most exciting part is when you start to receive the blocks back from everyone! I chose the X and + blocks using this tutorial for my month as Queen Bee in the Simply Solids group and have received most of the blocks back now  - everyone has made the most amazing blocks and I just love them in the solids! So I am planning to do something like this with gray sashing and coloured corner stones inbetween the blocks... 
And I spent quite a bit of time last week cutting up a big bundle of Chicopee fabric to send out to my fellow AusMod bee members for them to make some AMH feathers which are something that I have loved ever since I saw Annas pattern but wasn't sure that I could make them all myself. We made the feathers for Lorena earlier this year and she even organised templates which were fabulous to use.
I have picked up a few tips from other bee members already about sending out the parcels of fabric - apart from ensuring that you send out enough fabric which can actually be quite tricky to calculate, it is helpful to include printed address labels for the return of the blocks, and always write a return address on the back of the envelope in case the parcel goes astray. And after having a problem with the orientation of part of one of the blocks I made last week, it is a good idea to post a pic of the blocks on flickr or instagram before you mail the blocks off as sometimes these little mistakes aren't so obvious and then you have time to fix them:) 
I also don't know what we would do without those handy zip-lock bags as they are perfect for keeping everything together safe and dry should the package get wet!
So now it is your turn! What have you been up to and what have you got planned!
Plum and June
Here are the rules for the link-up party:
  1. Link up any recent crafty post. 
  2. In your post or on your blog, please include either a text link or a button letting people know about this link up. 
  3. Visit at least the two bloggers who link up before you and everyone who visits you from this post. 
  4. When the link asks for your name, tell me the name of your pet or the name of your favourite animal character from a movie or book. My cats name is "Simba" whom we named after the character in The Lion King -  when I was growing up we had a ginger tabby named "Tiger" and a black cat named "Panther" after Shere-Khan in The Jungle Book. I also love elephants so Dumbo is another favorurite character of mine.


Friday, April 26, 2013

X factor pillow swap - Field Trip

The fabulous pillows in the latest round of the X-factor pillow swap have all been voted on so I am now able to reveal the one I entered...
The theme for round 5 was "circles" so I used my Matildas Own drunkards path templates to make 4"  blocks from a combination of Anna Maria Horner's Field Study fabric and some coordinating solids.
I used my hera marker to mark out grid lines approximately one inch apart for the quilting on this pillow and inserted a zipper for the back of the pillow for the first time.
And in keeping with the "Biology" theme, for the back I used the "Frogs Eggs" in multi print from the Sarah Fielke "On the Pond" range .
So this pillow will be posted off to its new home this week. The next theme for the X-factor swap is "hexagons" and all of the details can be found here

Fresh Poppy Design
Linking to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Anzac Day

The 25th of April is a very important day here in Australia and New Zealand as it commemorates the landing of the ANZAC forces on Gallipoli 98 years ago, and is the day we remember all of those who have fought for our country and think of those who continue to do so. It is especially significant to our family as my grandfather fought in Papua New Guinea during WW2, and my father in Vietnam.
Even though it is school holidays here, it is a beautiful and sunny day and there was a great turnout at the local Anzac Day parade which is traditionally led by a wonderful Pipe Band.
And we have now come home after the wreath laying service at the Memorial baths to have a cup of coffee and some of the delicious Anzac biscuits that G made last night. Anzac biscuits were first made during World War 1 and sent to soldiers serving overseas because they didn't spoil easily as due to the scarcity of eggs back then, they do not contain eggs.
Anzac Biscuits Recipe
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup

1. Sift flour into a bowl
2. Add rolled oats, sugar and coconut. Mix well.
3  Combine butter, golden syrup and water in a saucepan (or microwave safe container) and heat until butter melts.
4, Add soda, allow to foam and pour immediately into dry ingredients. Mix well.
5. Spoon heaped teaspoonsful of mixture into greased oven trays. Allow room for spreading.
6. Bake in a slow oven for 20 minutes.
7. Loosen and allow to cool on trays.
Makes about 30.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday

First on my "to do" list for this week is a bit of a redo of one of the bee blocks that I made for Bronwyn the other day as I had orientated the top left corner incorrectly! Luckily it is quite an easy fix and I am relieved that hadn't mailed the blocks on Monday after work as I had planned to - sometimes these little mistakes are more obvious to others looking with fresh eyes:)
And because it is almost the end of April, I need to get all of these fabrics cut up to send out to my AusMod Bee members as May is my month. After seeing Lorenas beautiful AMH feathers in January, I decided to ask my bee group to do similar ones using these Chicopee fabrics with an ash grey background. Quite a few of us purchased the temples for these so it will be good to get some more use out of them. Just hope I have enough fabric here...
And although the past few days have been like summer, it is cooling down here of an evening so I have dug out some crochet projects to do while watching TV. I promised to make my daughter a scarf in this lovely mustardy coloured yarn that she chose, but we could only find one ball last year. I have been looking for some more since then and have had no luck but I think the one 100g ball will be enough to make a simple scarf for her.
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bee blocks for Bronwyn

It is school holidays here so I haven't been doing much sewing, but I did manage to get the red and aqua AusMod Bee blocks for Bronwyn (Whippet Good) sewn up.
I ended up making a Mosaic block from the Summer Sampler series at Fresh Lemons using just the pretty blues:
And also another "Greek Cross" block from the same series:
I will mail these off to Bronwyn now that she is back from her sisters wedding - if you get a chance do pop over to her blog and have a look at the gorgeous Oakshott quilt she made for the happy couple.
ETA: Thank you so much for letting me know about the Mosaic block being  orientated incorrectly as I hate making mistakes! I had another look at the block this morning and have only had to unpick the corner 3 blocks on the left and switch 2 of them and it will be fine:)
Fresh Poppy Design
Linking to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday

This week I am slowly but surely getting the strip sets for the Scrappy trip along sewn. I am  keeping the darkest fabric as the first strip to make centering it in the block easier - this was a tip I saw here
I have about half of them done already so only 15 sets to go before I start pressing and then cutting them back up again.
I am also working on some bee blocks for Bronwyn in the AusModBee. She has sent us some fabric in lovely reds and aquas so I just need to decide on which blocks to make for her... 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Le Challenge - Geometrics

Le Challenge is a craft site created by Lucy and Nat which has a themed challenge each month. I used to do a lot of these "themed" challenges when I was doing scrapbooking a few years ago, and found they were a great way to create a project using different techniques or to try out something new.
So the first Le Challenge theme was "Geometrics" and there seems to be an abundance of wonderful geometric fabrics to choose from at the moment.
I had recently received a FQ of the Cloud 9 Micro Mod "Tick Tock" fabric in white as part of a giveaway prize, and decided that it was perfect to use for this project. 
The bag is the Sidekick tote pattern from Anna at Noodlehead and I have used the Tick Tock fabric for the front pocket. It matched well with the dark grey denim that I used for the main part of the bag, and some Denyse Schmidt Daisy Mae fabric for the pocket lining which also had a geometric feel.
I made a couple of minor alterations to the bag pattern:
1. Using a magnetic snap for the front pocket closure rather than velcro - an idea I saw from Jennifer here
2. Adding in an internal zip pocket as well as the open pocket as I prefer to keep my phone more secure I used a matching DS print for the inside of the zip pocket .
I really like the recessed zipper too - this is such a useful bag and I can fit quite a lot into it including a folded umbrella, diary, purse, phone, sunglasses...
Linking up to Le Challenge, and looking forward to what the next months challenge will be.
Le Challenge
Also linking to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Sidekick Tote

One of the things on my April to do list is to make the Sidekick tote which is another great pattern from Anna at Noodlehead.
I happened to find a half metre of some dark grey denim in a remnants pile last week and I immediately thought of how well the Mod Micro Tick Tock print would go with it. 
I knew I also had just enough leftover light grey bias binding to make the pocket binding and chose a Denyse Schmidt print for the front pocket lining.
After seeing Jennifer's  cute Ombre sidekicker bag here, I decided to use a magnetic snap for the pocket closure rather than the velcro.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Corners" block

For her block in the Fallow group of the Simply Solids bee, Salsyq has chosen a "Corners" block using a tutorial from the Gourmet Quilter. 
This was quite a straightforward block to make and I think they will all look very effective sewn together.
And I have selected a few fabrics to make up my Sidekick tote - hoping to make a start on this later on...

Fresh Poppy Design
Linking to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Happy Mail week...

A few winnings have arrived here recently that I wanted to share as part of saying thank you to the senders! 
Firstly were some beautiful Dutch Love FQ which I won in a giveaway from  Kerstin @ Sunset Sewing  which arrived here tied up in a matching pretty ribbon. Kerstin has made a lovely Tova using some of these prints which I think go so well with navy and denim.
And then a fabulous UK magazine from Alison at Little Island quilting - this one includes the pattern for the Marcelle Medallion quilt that you may have seen popping up everywhere! It is always so nice to get craft magazines from other places as they often have different projects in them to what we have locally and I can't wait to sit down and have a proper read of it. 
Then as part of the Ruby Star Wrapping prize from Sew mama Sew, I also received a selection of patterns from Alexia Begg @ Green Bee PattensThe 3 patterns Alexia sent are really just my style too, and she also included a FQ of some very cool Cloud 9 Micro Mod fabric which I just love - I noticed that they are having a Micromod sewalong on the Green Bee blog too.
So many thanks Kerstin, Alison and Alexia for their generosity - I already have some ideas of what I am going to make with some of these! And be sure to check back next month for a few giveaways of my own...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Just 3 for April...

Just 3 is "Just enough" projects to keep me on track each month as I get very easily side tracked when I see something cool pop up on someones blog or on pinterest and want to go and make it right away! This happened again with the Messenger bag that I saw on Kati's blog -  I just couldn't resist making one:)
Although my goals for March included 2 quilts, I did manage to get all 3 goals done last month!
1. Bound the "ArchiteXtures" quilt ready in time for our anniversary - I think hubby was suitably impressed with it:
2. Finished off the "Land of Oz" Emerald quilt challenge quilt:
3. And made my "trial" Refractatorium block into a pillow cover:
So my plans for April are:
1. I finally downloaded the Noodlehead Sidekick tote pattern last week which is one I have been wanting to make for while now. I have a bag in a similar shape which I really love although it has seen better days so I would like to make a replacement one.
2.  I also need to keep up with my bee blocks - I have received the fabrics for both the Simply Solids bee  as well as the AusModBee but I just need to decide on which blocks to make for the latter.
3. And as I mentioned in my WIP Wednesday post, back in January when everyone was Tripping along, I decided that I would make a scrappy DS tripalong quilt so I would like to make a start on it. I am going to make a lap size  with 5 x 6 blocks which meant I needed to cut 180 strips and to my embarassment surprise I actually have more than 180 DS prints to use:)
Linking to Just 3 with Tracey at Tracey Jay quilts.

traceyjay quilts