Friday, 30 September 2016

Shape Family Challenge

Ta da! Scraping in by the skin of my teeth, here is my entry for the Shape Family Challenge run by the amazing Jodi (@Tales of Cloth).

All finished, I love this ranbow-y goodness

Made with Liberty fabric and a super light chambray, these were a match made in heaven and sew lovely to set. When I pulled the papers out they pressed so lovely and flat.

The premise of the challenge is to take one of Jodi's mixed pack of shapes (a Shape Family Pack) and make your own pattern. It certainly was fun coming up with it, although my husband did wonder what on earth I was doing.

Playing aound

The pillow back is a gorgeous spotty chambray that I am also going to make a dress out of (one day) - I think a Tea House dress, but I am going off topic...

Mmm, delicious

I straight line quilted it with a lilac Aurifil thread.

The pillow finished at 22.5 x 23.5 inches.

I've loved the peaceful nature of hand-stitching. It allows me to sit in the same room as my husband and still sew. I am a little sad now that I am finished, I think I may have to start a new project. Once I finish a few more WIPs. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Mini Quilt

This is my second entry for this years' Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I made this little fishy while I was on family holidays earlier in the year. It is based on a Studio Cockatoo print that I have hanging in my sewing room. We were going to be away for a few weeks and I figured I needed some hand sewing for while we were away.

This tiny little mini is hand pieced and only 7.5" x 10.5".

You can read all about the process here.

Go and check out the other great entries in the festival and a big thank you to Amy for hosting. 

Blogger's Quilt Festival: ROYGBIV

Woo! It is the Blogger's Quilt Festival!! I lurve the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I remember the sense of accomplishment when I entered the very first time. You can see my previous entries here, here and here. And of course there is all the quilty eye candy.

This year I am entering this in the ROYGBIV category:

Alison x Tula
Those of you who follow me know of my love for Tula Pink and Alison Glass (check out my #peachesbigsmokequilt hashtag to see my all Alison Glass version of Tula Pink's City Sampler).

I made this for a swap at the end of last year and am very sad that I don't have it any more.You can read the original blog post with my inspiration here. I will eventually get around to making one for myself. One day, when I finish all my WIPS (maniacal laugh).

It's actually a pillow, but it was a quilt first. Versatile ;)

Go check out all the other lovely quilts in the Quilt Festival and a big thanks to Amy for hosting it.


I have already posted about my inability to avoid jumping on any sort of quilting trend/ group activity/ challenge that pops up. So when it was announced that Angie (@gnomeangel), Lisa (@sweetlittlepretties) and Raylee (@sunflowerquilting) were hosting a quiltalong for Tula Pink’s City Sampler, I knew I was done for. I tried to resist, weakly, for a few weeks, but who was I kidding? Having seen the amazing Ms Pink speak at the recent Sydney Craft & Quilt show and seen her very own version (!!) it was always going to happen.

Here is a quick update on my progress to date and my “rules” for the quiltalong (note: these are my self imposed rules, you can do it however you like).

Progress shot

The Rules
  1. All Alison Glass Fabric, all the time; I have quite a collection, fabric is meant to be used and I mean to use it. If I decide to sash the blocks then I might use a solid, but we’ll see when I get there. I am using Handcrafted I, Handcrafted II, Handcrafted Patchwork and Sunprints 2016 with some random bits and pieces thrown in.
  2. Matching colours to the ones in the book, as closely as possible. I am a realist – I know that if I had to think about colour choices I would be frozen in indecision. It is hard enough just choosing from the fabrics that I have. To be honest, some of the colour choices from the book are a bit out of my comfort zone, but when you combine all the blocks together they look quite good and it is fun to push myself to try new things.
  3. Do not peek! I only ever go ahead as far as the block that I am making. No peeking forward to see what the next block is (which is especially hard when you are hating the block you are sewing – Block 40, I am talking about you – or sick of sewing purple)

That’s it – actually not too many rules.

I have sewn ahead a bit. I have sewn up to block 66 so far. My work is very peaky and so I knew from the outset that there would be times when I wouldn’t get to sew for days (eek) so I sewed ahead at the start and then have been trying to squeeze in a block or two at every opportunity to keep me “safe”. I find that this works quite well for me, because it means if I want to take a break, if I get Tula Fatigue, I can sew something else and it keeps me going. It has also sparked my enthusiasm for some other WIPs on my list. Watch this space for some long time WIPs getting finished off.

I thought I’d share the things that I have learnt along the way for pain free blocks:
  • Practice makes perfect. Really. I mean we all know that, but sewing all these blocks in a short space of time, I have seen my seams get straighter (am I the only one who struggles sewing in a straight line); closer to a perfect quarter inch; my finished blocks closer to a perfect 6.5 inch square; my cutting more accurate. I can only imagine how perfect block 100 is going to be :P
  • I only cut and sew one block at a time. I hate cutting sessions with no sewing action and given that each block is different it isn’t hugely inefficient, especially if I am only sewing one or two blocks at a time. I know other people do other things, this is what works for me (and why I haven’t started my Aviatrix quilt yet).
  • Where you are matching up across strips (for example the big plus sign in block 11) it is worth the small effort to mark where you want your pieces to join. I sew one side to the strip and then mark where the seams from the other side need to fall and position to that rather than the edge of the block. If I don’t do that sometimes you get misalignment and that makes my eyes start to twitch. Some people can live with that, I can’t. You should see when we hang pictures at our house, bless my dear husband for his patience. It takes a long time. On the flip side I can live with slightly cropped points on a HST if I have to (and it isn’t too major). We all have our own little quirks....
  • Pressing seams open really increases the accuracy of the blocks and also makes them sit really nice and flat. This was a hard one for me to accept, I am a seams to the side kind of girl. I LOVE nesting seams for perfect matching. But on blocks this teeny, pressing the seams open really makes a difference. I’m not changing my general mode of operating, but for these blocks I am. I don’t use starch (I read somewhere it attracts cockroaches and I really do not want anything in my house that does that. If I finished my WIPs more quickly, it wouldn’t be an issue, but I don’t want something nibbling holes in my WIPs).
  • Have fun with it!!! It is meant to be fun. If a particular block is making me grumpy then I just stop and do something else (but don’t jump ahead because Rule 3).
  • Don’t succumb to block envy. There are some seriously AMAZING blocks out there, that having been photographed amazingly (not mine, got no time for that, too busy sewing – you can see my Ugg boots in all my photos) and there are going to be awesome quilts, but what is that saying about comparison being the thief of joy? So true.

That’s it – you can check out #100days100blocks to see all the awesome progress people are making and if you want to follow along with me check out #peachesbigsmokequilt – you can see my other projects on Instagram at @peaches1003

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Fast finish: Marmalade pillow

A good long while ago I won some Marmalade Mini charm packs and a FQ or Marmalade fabric from Mary on Lake Pulaski.

I sorted the charms into colour groups and made some granny squares. But when I sewed them together I didn't love it. So much so that I put it away and let it languish, unloved in my sewing room.

The offending mini - ugh

Six months or so later and needing a fast finish I decided to just get it done. I looked at it and figured out what I wasn't loving - the sashing between the blocks was too wide and it was just throwing out the balance of everything. So I unpicked and the sashing, slimmed it down (diet for quilts?), sewed it back together and was in love.

I finished it off with some serpentine quilting and ta-da!! A pillow top I loved.

Much better with the skinny sashing

The backing is a great match and I had the perfect green zipper on hand

The moral of the story - if it isn't singing to you, leave it and come back and fix it later. I am so glad I did because I am very pleased with how it turned out. 

Mini mini mini

Never one to avoid jumping on a bandwagon (the reason why my to do list is ever expanding), I was unable to resist when Make Modern Magazine launched its mini mini quilt competition.

The brief: make a mini quilt of whatever design you like but it must finish at 6" square or less. 

Now, if you haven't already, you should jump over to Instagram and check out the hashtag #mmminimini and have a look at some of the amazing and teeny entries. 

For my first attempt I made a teeny version of Susan's (@canadianabroad) quilt from issue 34 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. But when I miniaturised it I didn't do the math right and it finished up too big (at a whopping 7 1/4 inches it was huge)!! Still it is super cute and scratched an itch I had to make that quilt. 

My first attempt - a huge mini!

Now my intention had been to only make one mini mini (WIPs to finish and all that) and I didn't have any immediate inspiration. However the following weekend I was at the school mass and was looking up at the altar where there were statues of Mary and the Sacred Heart either side standing in front of teeny tiny mosaic tiles. Ding! You could say it was divine inspiration. I went home and made up what I am calling Petite Portholes. I am so pleased with how it came out and I am planning on making a full sized version and writing a pattern for it. 

This time I cut each of those squares at 3 1/4 inches so it would definitely be 6 inches finished

Close up: I love this sweet little deer. Each of those squares is 1/2 inch. To make up the background patchwork I ironed the squares onto lightweight fusible interfacing and then sewed the seams up guaranteeing perfect points

Now this very weekend, the winners of the competition were announced and I was surprised and honoured to be one of them. My prize (wait for it) is quilting from Carolyn of Freebird Quilting Designs. I have a major crush on Carolyn's quilting and had actually been in touch with her about quilting my Escher Quilt, so everything feels a bit pre-determined. I am so excited and grateful for such an amazing and generous prize. 

A very gigantic thank you to Make Modern Magazine for a fun competition. It is an awesome publication and I highly recommend it. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Here Fishy, Fishy

Let me introduce to you Here Fishy, Fishy. My entry in this year's Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge.

Here Fishy, Fishy

You have to get a shot of the fish near the water, right?

A while ago now I bought this print from Studio Cockatoo and as soon as I saw it I thought "That would look really cool turned into a paper pieced pattern". But then life, and other quilty projects got in the way.

My inspiration shot, and some of the lovely things people have made for me (including my unicorn from Moo)

Fast forward x number of months (years?) and I see on Instagram that the guys at Umbrella Prints have launched their Trimmings Challenge. Basically, you buy a Challenge Pack (off cuts of their fabrics), use it to make something awesome and share it with the world. Now I have had grand plans to enter the challenge before. I have even bought one of those cute little packets in the past (with names like Mountain Girl and Luxury Cherry Bubble Cake who could resist?) but stalled when it came to actually making something. This year though, when I looked at the options and saw all those lovely shades of orange, my mind went to the fish print, angels sang, the clouds parted and a beam of celestial light shone down striking me with inspiration, etc etc, and I knew what I wanted to do. Couple that with the fact that I was going on a family holiday for a couple of weeks and needed some hand sewing and I had a plan.

Basically I used a simplified version of the print as a template for EPP. Even so it was pretty challenging as some of those pieces were small! The whole exercise was made extra tricky by the fact that I didn't take any scissors away with me - I had to trim all the fabric with thread snips. Needless to say, I made more progress once I got home.

When I was taking a break from this, I did some hand sewing (sneaky holiday shot)

I used the Luxury Cherry Bubble pack in combination with the contents of my scrap bin to make the fish.

Work in Progress

For the background I used one of the print's from Jeni Baker's Color Me Retro line. I think it is the perfect print to use - it certainly made me think of splashing water. As an aside, this was the very first fabric bundles I ever bought, and Jeni's blog was one of the very first quilting blogs I started following. Awww. That fabric had been in my stash for WAY too long.

The finished top

Once it was all pieced I knew I didn't want to have a binding - the piece is quite small and delicate and I thought binding would be too chunky so I sewed the backing on right sides together and flipped it inside out. I then set to work quilting it. I used four different colours of thread on the fish and four for the water, so eight all up!! 

My thread collection... in a fish bowl

I went for jagged triangular shapes in the water and then gave the fish body some dimension by quilting in some contours. I even FMQ-ed around the fish's goggle eye. That was scary since I hadn't done FMQ before and was worried I would ruin the hours and hours of hard work. But I just dialled the speed on my machine waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down and took it really easy. It isn't perfect, but it is perfect for what I wanted. With all that quilting, at least I know my hand piecing isn't going to come apart!

Eye FMQ detail

I am super pleased with how my little fish turned out. My husband asked who it was for and made a big sad face when I said it was for me, and I am taking that as a huge compliment because he isn't a quilty kind of guy.

Head over to #umbrellaprintstrimmingschallenge to check out the other pretties that people have made (there are some AMAZING things) and be inspired for next year!

Name: Here Fishy, Fishy
Pattern: A simplified version of the Goldfish 1 from Studio Cockatoo
Method: EPP
Dimensions: Approx 7.5" x 10.5"
Fabric: Umbrella Prints 2016 Trimmings Challenge Pack (Luxury Cherry Bubble Cake), various scraps (fish) and the Dulcette print in Lobella from Color Me Retro
Quilting: Machine, Aurifil 50 wt in 2024, 2720, 5006, 4093 (water) and 2135, 2145, 1133, 2225 (fish)

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Cool Melon Mosaic Entry

I love it when Rachel @ Stitched in Color hosts her colour mosaic competitions. 


This time round the theme is Cool Melon and is sponsored by Gotham Quilts. When I think cool melon, I think ripe juicy summer fruits – watermelon, rockmelon, champagne melon, out of the fridge covered in condensation. Mmmm, my mouth is watering now, but melon season is a long way off down here in Australia. I guess this little bundle is the closest I’ll get for a while. 



I hope you like my mosaic. You can go over to Stitched in Color to check out the other ones.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

It's been a long time, baby (the #pcswapas blog post)

It has been a long time between blog posts: family, work and travel have been taking priority over blogging. 

Now, I am back from holidays and I have a finish that I want to share. 

Despite my extensive WIP list and a vow no to join and more swaps, when @imasavonasac (who I have a total quilt crush on) and @littleislandquilting put out a call for participants in the #pcswapas pillow swap on Instagram my resolve crumbled. I am weak, I know it! Still better a swap than cake. 

My partner was a match made in heaven and I got stuck in straight away playing with ideas:

The ideas I was toying around with (clockwise from top): self drafted pattern; some tiled inspiration; no hats quilts Shine Bright pattern

In the end I decided on the top one and used some delicious Alison Glass Handcrafted Indigo, with a bit of colour thrown in to make the blues pop and a lovely grey print from Modern Backgrounds.

Al fresco quilt shot

I paper pieced it and drafted up the templates in PowerPoint (you use what you know, right?). If anyone is interested and I can figure out how to upload them then I will. 

I backed it in some Alison Glass Ex Libris (I'll be honest it was hard to say goodbye to that fabric). A perfect match!

I tried a different zipper closure to usual and put my label in the centre for a change

I tried a flanged binding for the first time and LOVED the result.

The flanged binding was totally worth the effort, it looks so effective. If it wasn't so much extra work I'd do it on everything, I love it that much.
I quilted it in a variety of trusty Aurifil - such a great range of colours.

Quilting detail - I love doing lots of quilting on small makes

One last shot: 

I wouldn't mind making another one with a more pronounced ombre effect (at some stage, I need to finish some WIPs first)

Then I whipped up this neat Pin Cushion / Caddy from Anna Graham's book Handmade Style to round out the package. Yes, I am going to sew the WHOLE book eventually. I used my Lizzy House scraps from my Midnight Mystery Quilt. I didn't put the walnut shells in because I didn't know how they would go in International mail. I don't think they would get through quarantine here, so why risk Lizzy????

This proved very tricky to photograph, even with a super cute (although somewhat fidgety) helper. I had to take her scooting afterwards as payment. 
Since we've been overseas, my mail has been on hold so I can't post what I received yet. I can't wait til the mailman comes on Tuesday (it is a holiday here on Monday). Something to look forward to and take the sting off going back to work after three weeks off!!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Jelly Roll Slice Shortcut Quilt Blog Hop

I was super excited at the start of the year when I was approached by The Fat Quarter Shop to participate in a blog hop for a new Jelly Roll pattern that they had coming out.

I am delighted with this little quilt, which was snaffled up by Bird as soon as she saw it
 I have seen various strip pieced quilts in the past, but could never really get my head around how they came together in the end. On top of that I have some jelly rolls and I really do not know what to do with them other than use them for binding, so they just sit there gathering dust. Curiosity piqued (and ego stoked, let’s be honest), I decided to jump on board. Let’s not mention all the WIPs that I posted about a few weeks ago, shhhhh, be nice!

Anyway, when the pattern came I gave it a good read and got started. This quilt came together fast! I made the crib size which only requires 17 strips plus your background fabric and the top itself got put together in two nights after work / kids in bed – so not a lot of time. The thing I loved the most about this pattern was the really clever pressing instructions. If you follow them, when it comes time to piece your quilt top all of your seams nest together nicely, which makes matching things up really easy. The pattern is also quite forgiving. For some reason I really struggle to sew long straight lines, which is what you have to do when you are strip piecing, so some of my blocks were a little wonky when it came time to put it all together, but I don’t think that is evident at all in the finished product. I really love this quilt. To me, it reminds me of stack of books. I am a bookworm and I do love a good pile of books.

Hmmm, the stack of books next to my bed isn't quite as pretty

So onto my quilt...I was lucky enough to win a custom 2.5 inch strip bundle from the lovely Jennie at Clover & Violet as part of one of the Sew Mama Sew giveaway days. But since I didn’t know what to do with them, they kind of languished. I had just enough strips for the project, and they had been expertly curated by Jennie in a lovely bundle of bluey-aqua, purple and yellow (so I can take absolutely no credit for the lovely fabric choices here). Bam! Fabric decision made. I used this beautiful grey fabric from Elizabeth Hartman’s Rhoda Ruth collection for my background. I think it makes the colours pop and is lovely and soft while still adding a bit of visual interest. I had a bit of extra background fabric left over so I used it to add 2.5” borders to my quilt, which took the finished size to around 45” square.

I backed it in the Ikea Britten print (LOVE it! I bought 6 metres from Ikea the other day) and I love that it was wide enough that I didn’t have to piece the back.

I used scraps left over from the quilt top to make the binding, combined with some delicious AMH Loominous that I had left over from binding my Sea Star quilt, I knew it would come in handy!!

Look at that texture! This may be my new favourite for fast quilting

I used an all over serpentine stitch to quilt it in Aurifil 2600. The soft grey was a perfect match for the quilt – it blended perfectly with the background and was subtle enough that it went well with all the different colours in the quilt. I had been unsure about how to quilt it, but when I saw Megan @ Canoe Ridge Creations’ True Love Mini quilt on Instagram, I thought “Jackpot!”.  Embarrassingly, I had seen quilts on Instagram quilted with a serpentine stitch before and thought that  it looked quite awesome but I didn’t think my machine had that stitch and I was annoyed about that. I thought how could my fancy pants machine not have such a simple stitch? Um, it did. Oh. On the chart it just looked a bit like a zig zag. So all this time I haven’t used it when I could have! Which is annoying because it is AWESOME for quilting. I don’t know if it was my imagination, but it seemed really fast – much faster than a straight stitch, which doesn’t really make sense, but there you go. It adds a lovely texture and again is quite forgiving.

I just wanted to show off the lovely blooms on my Mandevilla

Make sure you go and check out all the other quilts on the hop - I know I will be. 

If you want to make your own Jelly Roll Slice, here are the details on where to get the pattern or find the video or get a quilt kit or fabricTo celebrate this launch, The Fat Quarter Shopwill be having a 15% off Jelly Roll sale going through to Sunday 28th Feb, no coupon code necessary.

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Jelly Roll Slice by Fat Quarter Shop
Size: 45” x 45”
Fabric: Various strips gifted to me by Jennie @ Clover & Violet
Background: Rhoda Ruth Necklace in Grey
Backing: Ikea Britten
Binding: Scrappy
Quilting: Aurifil 2600 50wt

So there you have it, if you have someone having a baby or have stacks of jelly rolls in your life this is a good pattern for you! 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Handmade Style pencil case

I made something else from Anna @Noodlehead's book Handmade Style. 

This time I made this pencil case:

I pieced the exterior out of my hexie box (in colour order, of course). I still have a lot left. Perhaps I'll have to make another one! 

This one is destined to be gifted - one of Moo's carers is leaving from her after school care, so this is a little gift to thank her for taking such good care of my big little love. 

I made my own bias binding but I had trouble stitching the second side down by machine, so I hand stitched it. This case probably has more hand stitching than machine in it. 

Sunday, 31 January 2016

A finish: Noodle-head Rainbow Clutch

I have been a long time fan of just about everything that Anna @Noodlehead makes (see here and here). So when I heard that she had a book coming out I was like "aargh" (that is crazy excited screaming). But I have quite a few patterns / quilt books sitting at home that I haven't used so I resisted. I had will power. And then it was unavailable and I thought "you fool" so of course I snapped it up when I finally got the chance.

I had been drooling over all the makes from it that people were posting on Instagram (see the #handmadestyle hashtag for some eye candy) and plotting what I would make first. It was close but I chose the rainbow clutch. 

I really wanted to use some aqua denim I had salvaged from a pair of Ms Bird's jeans but her skinny little legs didn't yield enough fabric so I went with Essex Yarn Dyed in black paired with some of Alison Glass' Handcrafted in Indigo. As an aside if you don't have any you should get some. The colours are so vibrant in real life and now I want to make an all blue quilt. I was clever and bought a half yard bundle (more likely I was lacking attention to detail when I ordered as I never by half yard bundles. But whatever, I say yay!). 

The pattern itself is pretty straightforward and only took me a few hours to make. I struggled a bit with having to refer back to earlier pages in the book but really that  was only a minor niggle. Other than that the pattern was very clear and concise. Obviously, I mean look how it turned out!!

A very slick finished product

Look at that fabric, just dreamy

Sadly this little clutch isn't living with me. I sent it off as a belated birthday gift for my oldest (as in most tenured vs years alive) friend. Clearly I love her since I wouldn't give this to just anyone. 

Anyway, back to Handmade Style. I think I am going to make everything in the book perhaps with the exception of the quilts because heaven knows I have enough quilts on my list already. Then I'll have a big party when I am done. 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Metamorphosis Quilt: An ode to Escher

Back in September (last year, eek!), Julie from The Intrepid Thread put out a call for participants in a challenge she was hosting.

The deal was: would send the participants some fabric (for the sake of transparency, it was provided for free) and then everyone had a few months to make whatever they wanted with the fabric and unveil their work in January.

My nifty package arrived a few weeks later and my brain started whirring. What was I going to make?
The challenge fabrics: C+S Wordfind; Modern Background Paper and Lori Holt Modern Mini Arrows

Going off topic for a minute....when I was at uni I did a math degree and one of the subjects was called Topology and Chaos. One of the assessments in that subject was to write an essay about anything to do with Chaos Theory and applications of it in the world (I guess they wanted literate math grads). Anyway, whilst everyone else was off writing essays about using Chaos Theory to predict the weather or the stock market (yawn...), I wrote about chaos in art. This was when I first came across the work of M.C Escher whose work has a fractal like elements and also the Sierpinski Triangle you will recognise from this quilt.

Anyway....back to my whirring brain. Something about the challenge, or point in time or something completely random made me think of the works of Escher and so I spent an evening googling various Escher works and trying to find something that would translate into a quilt (that was achievable with my skill level in the time frame). Finally I landed on the work Metamorphosis III as my inspiration.

The finished quilt top; a week of rain and subsequent soggy outdoors means this is the best photo I could get

I also supplemented the fabric with some black solid and Kona Snow as well as some grey / black scraps I had in my stash.

I am a realist, I knew I was never going to be able to replicate Escher's work in fabric form, so I decided to pay homage to the concept of metamorphosis in both the shapes morphing from one to another as well as the graduation of colour from white, through to grey, black and then back to white. In the centre as I went from the "square" side to the "triangle" side (that's that math degree in action there) I wanted the quilt to appear to burst apart with a large floral applique. For the floral explosion I used the Arrows as well as some of the new Karen Lewis fabric, some AMH flowers and a C+S print that had some neat flowers as well as hummingbirds.

The centre laid out

Detail of progression

As I was piecing, it became apparent that this was going to be much larger than the table runner sized piece I had in my mind. I decided to turn it into a queen sized quilt for our bed by attaching two large panels in Snow to the top and bottom. The finished top is approx 84" x 92".

I am going to send this baby out to be quilted as I don't think that I would be able to do justice to it - I have never quilted anything larger than a King Single and I didn't want to practice on something that I love so much.

This quilt really means a lot to me for a lot of reasons. Firstly, I feel like it really reflects the sort of thing that I like to create. Despite having a very solid inspiration, this is a quilt entirely of my own design. And I tried so many new techniques that it was real unchartered territory for me.

The wonky square / diamond section I drew by hand on cardboard and cut it up and hand pieced it. I had to work out how to attach that to the machine pieced square patchwork. The centre is raw edge applique, which I had never tried before (who knows if I did it right, it might all fall apart first wash!). I sewed triangles for the first time (technically I did in my Sierpinski quilt, but I paper pieced those). And I sliced and diced and improved that last triangle section (in a totally 60 degree way).

So I love this quilt. I am proud of it and myself and what it represents. I can't wait to have it quilted, bound and on my bed.

Gratuitous quilt shot

Thanks to Julie for the chance to participate in something that forced me to think beyond what everyone else was doing and to create something that was a true reflection of myself. The other participants have also made some fantastic pieces - go check out the hashtag #intrepidthreadchallenge to have a look. 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015 ALYoF Roundup

Here is my final 2015 ALYoF post: time to see how I did with my goals for the year...

Without further ado, here were my goals:

So how did I do? Ten out of ten!! Here is a mosaic of my finishes.

Top Row: Aussie Christmas Swap; Sea Star Quilt; Wee Wander Roly Poly; Bess Top; AMH Mini
Bottom Row: Sailor Top; Schnitzel & Boo Mini; ABC Quilt; Miss Polly; Sweet Tooth

This has been a fantastic opportunity to finish some things off - giving extra motivation and preventing me from getting bored at the final leg and starting something new.

This(!) year I am going to try and adopt a similar approach even though the ALYoF is not continuing on. I have a loooooooooooooooong list to work through. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016: Quilty Goals

With the start of the New Year I think it is time for me to come clean and ‘fess up – I have a WIP problem. I am addicted to starting things. The shiny allure of sparkling ideas on Instagram and Pinterest is too much for me to resist, and before I know it I have bundles of fabric set aside, patterns picked and blocks made. And there they sit. Abandoned. Forlorn. And more than anything else, unfinished.

So why do I do this? Part of it is the fun of starting new things. Part is just wanting to jump on the bandwagon of whatever the current “it” project is.  (How I have managed to avoid starting a La Passacaglia is beyond me). Part of it is that there is too much inspiration everywhere. And part of it is lack of will power, plain and simple. Probably also the reason I don’t fit in my skinny jeans any more.

So, I am calling it out. I am going to finish some WIPs. In order to do that and be accountable, I need to list them. Here goes....

Already started: 
1.       Moda building blocks quilt
2.       Swoon
3.       Midnight Mystery QAL
4.       Genny Ruth quilt
5.       Scrappy X quilt
6.       The Beehive Quilt sampler
7.       My Queen Bee Beehive quilt 
8.       Cordelia’s Garden
9.       Love Patchwork & Quilting Mag BOM
10.   Storm at Sea Pillow
11.   Economy Block Quilt
12.   Star light Star Bright pillows
13.   Tula Pink Economy Block pillow
14.    My brother's 30th quilt
15.    Intrepid thread challenge quilt

My poor neglected Swoon

My Blossom Heart Quilts Bee Hive Sampler - only a few more blocks to go before I can sew it all up

Mmmm, that is embarrassing and a lot more than I thought I had. Still. I am going to call it and say that some of these will never be finished. I have just lost the fire to finish them, or there is just so much to go and so much that I want to do more that I think I am going to combine some to make a scrappy sampler (inspired by this one by Jodi @ Tales of Cloth).

Next up: not started but I have fabric reserved in my stash (which means that I can’t use it for anything else) and the pattern:
1.       Aviatrix in Botanics / Lizzy House Jewels
2.       Pixel Plus in Acacia
3.       Plus quilt in Les Amis
4.       Charming quilt in Paradiso

Then there are the quilts I am super keen to make but am not allowed to til I finish.some.WIPs.
1.       Roundhouse
2.       Quarter Dresens (inspired by this one, again by Jodi @ Tales of Cloth) – I have some charm packs that I want to use up
3.       Scrappy Trip Around the World in Sunnyside
4.       Gypsy Wife
5.       Cathedral windows pillow (I’m realistic, I know I would never in a million years finish a quilt)

Goodness! I think I will be an old lady before I finish this list. Imagine if I could do it all in one year?! That is 24 items. Better get started!!

This list will also serve as my FAL goal list for the year. I absolutely am not starting any new projects til some of these are crossed off my list. 

2016 FAL