Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Up the River!

The wonderful V at Bumble Beans is hosting a 'Wave Runner' Quilt along that I have joined.

At first I was a little concerned....cutting into my beautiful fabrics with a rotary cutter and NO ruler?...but I am a perfectionist, how can I do that? I watched with much interest as V showed a couple of wave runner quilts she had done, and then posted a video tutorial of how to make these interesting quilts. So with V's faith in me, I set off to search my stash for the fabrics I wanted to use.

I love my Kaffe shot cottons so I had to include some of those, also an Amy Butler solid (the pink one, Amy's solids are simply gorgeous!). I threw in a couple of Kaffe prints and my favourite Anna Maria Horner fabric Zinnia Fortune. Once I got the hang of slicing into my fabrics without my ruler, I was hooked. This method is so releasing and easy and fun!

I love seeing what patterns and shapes come out of this freehand way of cutting strips and sewing them together.


This quilt reminds me of a river....water running over rocks, pebbles and sand so I'm calling it 'Up the River'.

Thanks V for hosting such a fun quiltalong, and for your wonderful tutorials that gave me the courage to start!!! xo

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good Enough to Eat

A couple of weeks ago I finished my Icecream quilt top. Just popping in quickly to show you, I'm very behind on my blog reading and commenting, we have our wonderful in-laws staying at the moment, so I can't stay long!

I could just eat this quilt...Kaffe's pastels just look fabulous together.



Mmmm, mouthwatering icecream, sorbet, gelati and strawberry sundaes, yum!

Kaffe's Potentilla fabric fabric reminds me of cherries.

This quilt sewed together quite quickly. The instructions were very exacting and initially I found I was stressing about trying to make sure each side matched up perfectly. In the end I didn't worry about cutting the strips to the exact length. Instead I sewed a couple of strips together, sewed that strip onto the quilt and then just cut the extra length off. This made sewing it much more relaxing and fun.

Is anyone else making this quilt from Kaffe's latest Quilt Romance book? I'm still deciding whether to hand quilt or machine quilt it, I will think about it for a while! I hope your week is wonderful xo

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Jewel of a Friend and a Giveaway

One of the things I love about the internet, is that you can make friends with people who live on the other side of the world, without leaving your house, or even getting out of your pyjamas!! A little while ago I became friends with a wonderful girl, Louise, who lives in Ireland. Louise is a self taught Silversmith who creates amazing jewellery in her little attic studio on her farm, where she lives with her husband and their three young children.

Louise has such an unusual and eye-catching style to her jewellery. I wanted to show off a couple of the pieces she has made for me, as well as some from her Etsy shop 'Made for an Angel'. The first ring I bought from Louise was the 'Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss' ring. The turquoise stone she has used is simply stunning and is set off beautifully by the silver 'petals' surrounding it.

Louise makes her pieces with stunning and interesting gems and stones, sterling silver and sometimes adds a touch of gold, like the centres of the flowers on my next ring, 'Luxury Woodstock'. The stones here are pools of blue Chalcedony, and they look fabulous in their setting with two silver and gold flowers on either side.

These rings are larger and slightly heavier than your usual jewellers rings, but oh-so-comfortable to wear. Louise also makes sweet earrings and gorgeous, statement-piece pendants!

An amazing custom order called Tangles & Swirls!
Check out that stunning moss agate. See more pics here
 
Bottom of the Lagoon pendant

You can read a little more about Louise's life on the farm and of her jewellery making exploits through her blog Made for an Angel Jewels. Check out some of her sales items in her Etsy shop to see some of the rings, pendants and earrings she has made and sold. Louise is happy to make custom items and is very convo friendly. Each piece Louise makes comes with her signature stamped on the back and her little heart with wings.

The wonderful news about all of this is that Louise has very generously offered a gorgeous set of clover stacking rings (the ultimate Irish ring experience, see pic below) for me to give away to you, here!


To be included in this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post by Saturday 31st Oct. I will announce and contact the winner on Sunday 1st Nov Aussie time (please make sure you leave your email address if it's not already in your profile so I can contact you). Louise will custom make these sweet rings for the winner. Good luck xo

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The wonderful half square triangles

Between all the giveaway winning going on around here there has only been a little stitching done. However I have finally finished my Half-Square-Triangle-Flea-Market-Fancy quilt top....


I had so much fun with this one. I was hugely inspired by two other gorgeous quilts I had seen in blogland, the first one was from the wonderful Red Pepper Quilts...



Rita blogged about this stunning quilt here. Her layout is so very unique and clever, I knew I had to make a similar one as soon as I saw it.

The second quilt that inspired me was from Ryan of I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts. He had made this gorgeous doll quilt, I simply love the aqua and raspberry colours, set off by the linen. You can read about this quilt here. Ryan is in the process of making a larger version of this one, I can't wait to see that!



The fabrics I used for my quilt were from my stash of Denyse Schmidt's (fabulous) Flea Market Fancy range. A range we flea market fancy freaks are hoping will be reprinted one day! As I don't have her whole range, I also added in some of Sis Booms toile from her older Girlfriends range. This toile (called Nuala) is still one of my favourite fabrics, with the gorgeous birds and little bugs all over it. The Linen was from Sew Mama Sew and was an Essex linen/cotton blend in Putty.



Playing with the half square triangles is so much fun. I decided to have a scrappy look for the diamonds, with the a one colour square in each centre.


 My points don't match perfectly, but it's good enough for me.




Since I made this quilt I saw that Andi from Patch Andi fame has been playing around with half square triangles too. I'm sure they are addictive. Check out her beautiful quilt below, and see her other fun layouts here.


My thanks to Rita, Ryan and Andi for their generous permission to show their wonderful quilts on my blog, and for the inspiration their quilts have given me. Has anyone else made a half square triangle quilt? I'd love to see it. xo



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spoilt Rotten!!

You know how I said I had won another giveaway the other day? Well I came home from work today to find another big box from the postie, oh how spoilt am I? Look what the lovely Alison from Cardygirl has sent me....


A beautiful Rosalie Quinlan card and stitchery pattern to match the design on the card (how cute is that little house on a hill?!!)  Some scraps from her stash...Wow...


Check out all that Heather Ross and other gorgeous fabrics in there. I have been eyeing off that Princess and the Pea fabric for ages, I love it!


Mmmm chocolate (just as good as icecream!). I have never tried this flavour before, yum.

And what was in the big parcel?....


A gorgeous, made-by-Alison handbag. Beautifully created with lovely fabrics from the City Blooms range (I adore these colours).


I love the oh-so-neat frill around the top of the bag, and the little handles that are so neatly stitched on. The circle fabric has been fussy cut to add a wonderful detail to the bag.

Thank you so much Alison for your fabulous and generous giveaway, I'm so glad I won! I think you will all agree how spoilt I have been.


While on the subject of giveaways, look at the stunning orchid I was given the other day from one of the lovely ladies I work with....


 I will try hard not to kill it!


And there will be a little giveaway here very soon, keep your eyes open...! xo


Share the Love Around

Have you seen the Love from Amy Butler yet? Have you bought any yet? Have you made anything with it yet? The wonderful Mrs Schmenkman is giving away....yes, giving away a stack of eight fat quarters of Love!


Head on over there and leave a comment before Saturday...wouldn't you just Love to win? xo

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quilt Festival...Kaffe of course!

For this year's quilt festival 2009 hosted by Amy of Park City Girl, I have chosen my simple, but very colourful Wallpapered Goodness quilt. My regular readers will remember this quilt of course, however of all the quilts I have made in the past couple of years, this one remains my favourite.


I designed Wallpapered Goodness to make use of the stunningly large floral fabrics I had collected over the years, fabrics designed by Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs.



I cut generous strips of these handsome fabrics, and tempered them a little with small strips of dots, stars and damask.


The binding is my favourite Brandon Mably fabric, brown with hot blue spots which frames the quilt beautifully.


On the back of Wallpapered Goodness is the lush green and pink of Kaffe's Cabbage Rose fabric, I love being wrapped up in this fabulous fabric. A simple stripe of brown and blue damask, and orange roses complements the cabbage and roses.


The quilting was done on my home Janome sewing machine, in a simple freemotion swirly design, with some straight line quilting on the small stripes.



I'm so glad Amy is running the quilt festival this year, I'm off to get a cuppa and lose myself for a while in this virtual quilt show! xo

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Woohoo!!

Now that I have a super tidied up sewing room, you would think I have spent the week in there. Alas, I have been working all week and have been having crafty withdrawals (apart from the times I have been just standing in front of my new cupboard, staring at my fabric!) However, when I came home from work this afternoon, I nearly tripped over a big box on my front step. A little while ago I had entered a giveaway, then promptly forgot about it...until I got an email from the lovely Erica of Erica's Essential Suchness telling me I had won her giveaway, woohoo!!! Erica you have totally spoilt me...check out what she sent me all the way from the US....


Look at how Erica has wrapped my pressie, in such gorgeous paper, and then what a fabulous idea to wrap it up in coloured wool with a matching, gorgeous, handmade crochet flower! I'm going to put a pin on the back of her flower and turn it into a brooch and wear it on my denim jacket, I love it.


Inside the beautifully wrapped box was this...


Let's go through it...


Pom Pom makers! I loved making pom pom's as a child and spent many long hours cutting out the two cardboard circles and forcing a large ball of wool through and around the small hole in the cardboard donut. These pom pom makers are so much easier...I can see lots of pom pom's being made around here again.


To help me make lots of pom pom's Erica has given me 3 beautiful balls of superwash merino yarn, with the most yummy names...Asparagus, Petal and Beach Glass. I will have to make sure my Mum doesn't eye these off, she is an amazing knitter! Aren't they simply gorgeous colours?


Then she threw in a big surprise...3 fat quarters of flea market fancy...oh-my-goodness Erica how could you part with these, you know how much I love fmf!! And the all elusive grey with orange flower that I have been trying so hard to find more of.

Thank you so much Erica for your wonderful, thoughtful gifts, I appreciate them so much. And just to show I can make pom pom's still...here's one I whipped up in about 2 minutes using my new pom pom maker and some leftover sock wool (I couldn't bear to touch my new wool just yet, I will savour that for a while first!)....



Oh, and while I'm on a winning streak I found out this morning that I had won someone else's giveaway...I will show you that one soon. Lucky me! xo

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What a difference a cupboard makes!!!

Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments and all the amazingly yummy icecream favourites out there. Ranging from the simple Vanilla Bean (home made of course!), to the weird Turtle (that IS weird Amy!!), to the 'I have to try it' like Butter Pecan or Coconut! Hhmm I think I need to get a bowl of honeycomb & chocolate with crunchy icecream that hubby bought home tonight!


Thank you too for your encouragement to get stuck into my messy sewing room and clean it up. I was so inspired by you guys that yesterday (after waving goodbye to the boys as they went to school, sigh, school hols go too fast!), I sat and pondered on the state of my room. Now I realise how blessed I am to even have a sewing room. Granted it is a very small room, but it is a room where I can leave my sewing machine all ready to go, all the time!

I have a wardrobe in there where I store most of my fabrics in drawers. My frustration with this set up however was that whenever I pulled the many fabrics out for my quilts, it was rather hard to put them all back in neatly, and usually I just needed them out for the next quilt anyway! It was also rather hard to remember what I had in those drawers. I had a hunt in our garage and found an old cupboard with shelves....just the answer I thought! I cleaned it up, took the doors off the hinges and hammered a couple of nails into it and voila...the perfect stash holding, easy to see what I've got, cupboard!!!


On one side I have a pinboard where I can keep cards and ideas, and a hook where I can hang my current blocks I'm working on.


On the other side I have nails to hang my cutting board and 2 rulers. Also a couple of nails to hang up my tape measures.


I will paint the cupboard one day, perhaps a nice pistachio green or antique white, but for now, it tidies up my room so beautifully. I am calling it my paintbox, as all my colours are lined up nicely where I can see them.


This is the wardrobe where this fabric used to be. See how uninspiring it is looking at that and trying to imagine my fabric in there? (That's why most of the time it was out of there and all over the floor!).


I now keep my wadding, my backing fabrics, my knitting wool, buttons, scraps of fabrics, etc in here.


Next to the wardrobe is my sewing machine and books. I love my Janome, this one is a work horse and I do all my piecing and quilting on this. I have even stipple quilted a king size quilt on this baby!


As I said I don't buy many books, but I do have all the Kaffe Fassett ones (of course), Material Obsession and a few others. I guess that is a few books in there!!!




Now I am raring to go and get creating again. Hopefully I will get some time on Thursday to get back in there.  I will leave you with a pic of one of my favourite fabrics...flea market fancy!! Have a wonderful week and thanks for checking out my tidy sewing room with me xo