Saturday, 27 June 2015

A Garment a Month: Sutton Blouse

This month for my (own personal) garment a month challenge I made a Sutton Blouse, pattern by True Bias. 

Taking a quick photo on the front door before any of the neighbours walk past and wonder what on earth I am doing

The Sutton Blouse is a V-neck top with kimono sleeves and a pleat in the back. I have a similar top that I bought ages ago that I have literally worn to death. The side seams have all torn and I was going to dismember it and try to draft up my own pattern for it when I saw the Sutton Blouse one day while browsing. 

I was a bit apprehensive about trying the pattern as it is graded as Intermediate (I would not classify myself as an intermediate level when it comes to sewing clothes) but Kelli has a sew along for the blouse on her blog, so I thought why not? 

The top has a cute pleat at the back, which makes it nice and roomy - great for running after kids (I wore mine ten pin bowling)

As all the other things that I have hesitated about when it comes to sewing, it actually wasn't that hard. The pattern is exceptionally well written. I found it very clear and easy to follow. My favourite thing about the pattern is how beautifully finished the inside of the garment is. No exposed seams anywhere, which is a bonus when you don't have an over locker. I love it when the inside of a garment looks just as nice as the outside. 

See how neat and tidy the inside looks? Apart from my slightly wonky stitching...shhh, we won't talk about that

I thought the method of attaching the bias trim around the neckline was super clever and I definitely got my best results ever attaching bias tape. It probably also helped that rather than using the pattern piece for the tape, I measured it and the cut it with a ruler and a rotary cutter. I don't know if it's because I am a lefty, but I am terrible at cutting with scissors! 

Check the finish on the neckline. I am so proud of how good it looks, I am tempted to wear it inside out (not really)

I have already worn this top and it is in the wash as I write. I will definitely make another one of these tops. Perhaps with a contrasting yoke. I count this one as a win. 

That's a finish off my Q2 FAL list and I am linking up with the Sew Mama Sew Community Super Sewing Match. The Round One Challenge is the Sutton Blouse, so it seemed kind of fortuitous.  

Friday, 26 June 2015

A Giveaway!! Sea Star Quilt Pattern

Today Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is launching her Sea Star pattern

I was lucky enough to test the pattern (you can see my version here). It is a fun and easy pattern to make. Depending on your fabric choices, you can get a really different look and feel to the quilt. Cheryl is showcasing some of the other test versions of her quilt on her blog, so go and check those out for some different interpretations.

I have a copy of the pattern to giveaway to one lucky reader, courtesy of Cheryl. All you have to do to be in with a chance is leave a comment here – any comment will do, but if you want a prompt let me know what fabric you would use to make it in if you won.

I’ll draw a winner next Friday, 3rd July (Australian time).

If you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won or not, you can buy your own copy of the pattern here,here or here.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Sunday Stash: a belated craft and quilt fair edition

Last weekend I went to the Craft and Quilt Fair in Sydney. Needless to say I picked up some goodies. 

First off I got some Liberty - there was a ridiculous amount of choice but I settled on these goodies. I love my little Liberty rainbow. I have grand plans for these babies that involve some chambray. 

My first Liberty

Then I got some low volume for my stash. The Tula just sort of fell into my basket. 

I couldn't resist this My Little Pony fabric for the littles. 

And I am most excited about getting this quilting foot for my sewing machine. 

I gave it a try but I am truly terrible! It was loads of fun though and I can only get better with practice. I am thinking on checking out Craftsy. Anyone done a course they rate highly?

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash

Monday, 15 June 2015

Welcome to the New Quilt Bloggers' Blog Hop

Hi! I'm Hayley and I blog here at MooBird Stitches.

This is me! I think I may have cake in my mouth, hence the funny expression on my face

This year both my sewing and blogging has all been about trying new things. Perfect example: The New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! I read all the posts last year and thought "I have got to try that one day" but I have come to realise that there is no time like the present! 

I started quilting about two and a half years ago when I was pregnant with my second daughter, Ms Bird (younger sister to Ms Moo - see where I am going here?). One of my dearest friends had told me how she had made quilts for her girls and that it wasn't that hard. Then I guess my sister got tired of hearing me talk about it and bought me some charm packs and backing fabric and gave them to me with a rotary cutter and a link to Flossie Teacakes' blog. I made my little girl to be a simple patchwork quilt and truly I haven't looked back. 

Here is Ms Moo holding up my Sierpinski "mini"- I designed this myself and am super proud of how it came out

By day I work in the financial services industry (at the moment at least - suffice to say I am a numbers person). Over the years I have tried my hand at various crafts (ceramic painting, anyone? At least with sewing you don't need to buy a kiln!!) but sewing is the one that has stuck. Like so many others, sewing is how I relax. I get antsy if I can't get behind my machine regularly. 

My most recent make - the Sea Star quilt

This year, as I said, I have been trying to expand my repertoire a little. I have set myself a personal challenge to sew a garment of clothing every month. I am still at the pretty basic stage, but I am determined to stick with it! I have also (over) joined some swaps, bees and a birthday club. I tested a pattern for Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs (quite daunting, that responsibility - check back here in a few weeks when it launches for a giveaway). I participated in the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival and lastly, I hope to at least write up a pattern for my Sierpinski quilt to share the mathsy quilt love around. 

Princess Twilight Sparkle - a birthday gift for Ms Moo

Some of my other makes

So now for the speed round! 

Best blogging tip

If you don't know something, ask. Or at least google it. I haven't been blogging enough to have any awesome tips of my own, but there are very generous and helpful people out there who are happy to help. Someone has faced the same problem you might have before! I am hoping someone will post about how to make a collage (or leave me a comment, hint, hint)

Best quilting tip

Slow and steady wins the race. When I rush I get careless. My seams get wonky, my quarter inch isn't scant, I cut the fabric wrong. And always get your seam ripper out when you start to sew. It's like Sod's law - leave it packed away and you'll need if for sure. 

Quilting question 

Tell me your number one quilty pattern - either one you've made that you love the most or what is at the top of your bucket list. Mine is the Storm at Sea. Looooooooove. 

My faves

I used to have favourites that I strongly identified with (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, My Brilliant Career, Donnie Darko, Matt Damon) but as I've gotten older it has become more about what I am currently enjoying, rather than saying something is the best ever (except Matt Damon, he'll always be on the list). 

So I am currently enjoying the following:
TV show: Dig - I don't watch a lot of TV but after three episodes I am hooked
Book: I just finished The Moth and it was fantastic
Movie: Seriously, I have two young children, I don't go to the movies unless it has a Disney princess in it!

So if you have read this far, thank you! Have a poke around my blog if you like and please spread the bloggy love with the other fabulous guys on the blog hop!

Here are the other guys from my Hive (the New Bees - see the groovy button in the side bar) that are posting this week:
A big, huge thank you to our hosts / guides this year: Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl, Stephanie @Late Night Quilter, Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination and Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs.


Monday, 8 June 2015

A finish: Sea Star Quilt

A few weeks ago I volunteered to make a test version of a new pattern from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs - the Sea Star quilt.

Cheryl's original version done up in solids in oceany shades of blue and green really resonated with me and I was keen to try something I hadn't done before (i.e., pattern testing). I have to say, it was a bit of a weight actually testing a pattern for someone else. I am a kind of get the gist and wing it kind of girl and I felt that it wouldn't do justice to the pattern to do that. And what if I stuffed it up? 

I decided to make a baby sized version for a friend of mine who was having a baby. I didn't know what she was having so had to go for something gender neutral. She and her family live near (and love) the beach and so I wanted a colour palette that gave a beachy kind of feel. The yellows represent the sun and sand and then the aquas and blues of the ocean on a sunny day. 

The finished quilt - I felt a bit odd photographing it in the park, but no one really paid any attention to me!

The pattern itself was really easy to follow. It does have a few HSTs - when I volunteered I thought that the quilt was made up of flying geese and rectangles with triangles seen on the corners, so that HSTs did induce a "what have I signed up for?" moment. 

HSTs not withstanding, the top came together quickly (I sewed it up in one day). Then how to quilt it? I originally decided to do concentric circles with origins in three separate spots so that they would overlap like ripples in water. I'll just mention now that I have never quilted circles before and once I'd started it seemed a tad ambitious. Some reverse sewing quickly followed and back to the drawing board it was. I eventually decided to go with organic ripples - I think it still very much gives the impression of water, just moving instead of still. It was very refreshing to let the quilting just go where it would (and fast and forgiving!). I think this style of quilting will be a permanent part of my repertoire. 

Close up of the quilting

I quilted it using Aurifil 50wt in four different colours: white, yellow, light aqua and a darker aqua.

I bound it in this neat Anna Maria Horner Loominous fabric (we won't talk about the yardage en route destined to be a dress for me - I have been crushing on this line so hard). 

Binding in Illumination Graph in Glow - check that metallic glint

I also discovered that I had a different sole for my walking foot that allowed for near perfect binding attachment! How have I not noticed you before little sole? You are my new bestie!

Hello in the ditch walking foot sole! 

I chose some Alison Glass for the backing (oh there's enough left over for a top - what a surprise??!). 

Alison Glass Sunprint in Grove and Ink for the backing

Quilt Stats 
Pattern: Sea Star by Meadow Mist Designs
Size: 45" x 45"
Fabric Top: Kona white and a variety of blue, aqua and yellow fabric from my stash
Binding: Anna Maria Loominous in Illuminated Graph in Glow
Backing: Alison Glass Sunprint Ink in Teal and Sunprint Grove in Yellow
Quilting: Organic wavy lines in Aurifil 50 wt (2024, 5006, 1135, 2835)

And this is a finish for my June ALYoF goal

Friday, 5 June 2015

June ALYoF goal: Sea Star quilt

A few weeks ago I was sat in the dark settling Ms Bird and simultaneously scrolling through my Bloglovin' feed when I saw that Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs had put out a call for pattern testers for her Sea Star Quilt.

The finished baby size quilt top - it's been a while since I made anything bigger than a mini (too many swaps!)

Although I have never pattern tested before I thought "I could do that!" and promptly volunteered to test the baby sized version of the quilt. This year is all about trying new things for me. The timing worked quite well, as one of my dear friends was also expecting. Did you see how I said was? Her bundle of joy has arrived and the testing deadline is looming. What better way to kick my butt into gear than linking up to ALYoF? (Note: I would have got it done anyway!)