Friday, August 22, 2014

T.G.I.F.F. - This And That

I have achieved quite a lot this week.  I finished off my quilt top for the Sew Kind Of Wonderful Blog Hop (you will have to be patient and wait until my stop on the hop next Friday), got all my bee blocks for QCA Bee #5 up to date, and am now a month ahead AND today whipped up this gorgeous cushion cover for an upcoming showcase at Tilda & Birdie on FB.

Sleeping Beauty Cushion

When I saw there was a Heather Ross Showcase coming up, I had to put my hand up.  I've been collecting HR for a little while now, and like a good showcase to make me think outside the box.  Well, clearly not too far out of the box - given it's another cushion cover - but colour palette wise, this is different for me!  I cut a gorgeous little charm of Sleeping Beauty from my original Far Far Away linen blend and then worked my way outwards.  I used my 9" Economy Block tutorial for the centre, and then added a couple more borders to bring it up to size.

Sleeping Beauty Cushion

I love the back of the cushion.  This Briar Rose print is one of the cutest ever!  And I even managed to match the print so well it doesn't look like it has been cut!  There IS a zipper in there :)

Sleeping Beauty Cushion

I kept the quilting simple.  Nice little straight lines of Aurifil #2024 on the white sections - giving it a gorgeous texture.  The pink print has a little buzzy bee meandering pattern.

And just because it's TGIFF, here are those bee blocks, care of my IG feed.....

Playing catch up on bee blocks today! First cab off the rack.... #qcabee5

Simple little butterfly blocks.

One epic 18" blocks for @bendigolioness had to use my brain for this one! #qcabee5

This not-so-simple maze block!  It did my head in for a little bit, but I do love the end result - even if it is rather "busy".  You can find the tutorial for it HERE.

Final block for today just finished!! A sort of kind of #nestedchurndash for #qcabee5

And a very late night pic of the solids block for Carlie.  I'm not a solids kind of girl, and the only two solids I have in my stash that I really actually like were the pink and gold Art Gallery fabrics.  Carlie requested a sampler block.  So I browsed Pinterest and came up with nothing I really loved.  Instead, I started out with Quilt Jane's Nested Churndash, making it up to the 8.5" size, and then added a couple of borders to bring it up to 12.5".  A friend called it a "framed churndash".  Sounds good to me!

Anyway, that's it for this week.  Another busy week ahead.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

I'm linking up - You can too!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Personalised Zipper Pouches - Tutorial

Another week, another birthday party!  My three youngest children are in the midst of a birthday party bonanza at present.  And buying a million birthday presents for kids I barely know is not my idea of fun!  So I've actually been making them all presents.  This weekend's birthday girl is turning 12, and my daughter told me she likes Owls and purple.  O. K. then.

I popped in to Spotlight this morning for a few bits and pieces, and grabbed 20cm of a very cute owl print, and then remembered the amazing purple hexagon Saffron Craig print I picked up a couple of months ago - at SPOTLIGHT?!?!?  What the!  And this is what I made....


A very cute, VERY purple, personalised pouch.  Now as you can see, the birthday girl has a slightly unusual name - Abaset.  Odds are on that she doesn't get much personalised stuff in her life, so I thought it would be lovely to pop her name on it.  I free motioned her name and fit it in amongst the owls.  I used bright purple Aurifil #2545 and my trusty white #2420.  The front and back panels are quilted to give the pouch some body.  And would you believe that today I did my first ever Y Seam!?!?!?  I wanted to use a hexagon, so headed to Youtube and found this great little video below.

Now - on to a little tutorial for you all.


What you will need:

2 x quilted panels.  The size is completely up to you, but these are approximately 10.5" x 9".  My zip is 9" and then you need 2 x Lining panels.  


You will also need 2 little squares/rectangles on your coordinating fabric, as shown above, to cover the ends of your zip.  Press a little seam length ways on your zip covers as seen below.


1. Take one panel, right side facing upwards.  Centre your zipper length ways along the edge, with your little zip cover pieces at the ends.  Then take a piece of lining and place over the top, right side facing downwards and pin all together.  


2.  Using a zipper foot, sew along the edge to join all pieces together.  It will look like the above photo when joined.  Pull the lining back underneath so panels are wrong sides together and press.  Top Stitch alongside the zipper.


3.  Take your second panel, and place right side upwards.  Lay your first panel on top, right side down, aligning the edges of both pieces.  Trim off your zipper covers.  Place your second lining piece over the top and pin together, then sew together the same way you did previously.


4.  Press and top stitch again.  When you have done so, your will end up with a layout like above.  Trim around to make everything neat and even in size.


5.  Open your zipper a few inches, then take both quilted panels right sides together, and both lining pieces right sides together.  Pin them all around, leaving a 3" gap in the bottom of your lining pieces.


6.  Line up the top seam of your quilted panels, and have the zipper cover folded up towards the lining as demonstrated above.  Now sew all the way around, leaving the gap open at the bottom of the lining, backstitching on both sides.  Trim all four corners.  Reach through the gap in the lining and pull the pouch through, the right way out.  To get your corners nice and neat, you can use a chopstick or something similar to push them out nicely.  Pull your lining out and neatly machine sew the gap closed.


And you will have a delightful little gift!  I plaited four shades of Aurifil thread to make a cute little zipper pull!


The best thing about these pouches is you can fill them with whatever you like!  I asked my daughter when she got home whether she'd like to put beauty products, lollies or pencils etc in it?  She chose the smelly stuff!


I have made a tonne of pouches, so I hope this helps you out for some fun little gifts in future!

I'm linking up - You can too!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Moonlit 241 Tote

A few weeks back, I asked my IG peeps for bag pattern suggestions.  There was an overwhelming majority happy to recommend both the 241 Tote and Super Tote by Noodlehead.  A few days ago, I finally bit the bullet and bought BOTH patterns!  I then also stopped past Spotlight and got some extra bag making supplies and was ready to rumble!

I'm pleased to say I have finished the 241 Tote today!  And I'm a very happy camper....

Moonlit 241 Tote 

Even though I was expecting a canvas butterfly print from Cotton + Steel's new range, I still went ahead and used the quilting cotton that arrived.  And I'm so glad I did!  I love the combination of the denim blue butterflies and coral arrows.  Yummo!

Moonlit 241 Tote 

The side panels and lining throughout the bag are Essex Linen.  It contrasts perfectly with the other prints.  I purchased chunky metal jean zippers for the front.....a first here.  What I didn't think about was the fact you can't cut the ends off if you want to make them a bit shorter, like regular dress zips.  Whoops!  So I had to sew a wider berth around the top and bottom of each zip.  I love the look of them.

Moonlit 241 Tote 

I used Aurifil #5002 - a beautiful shade of coral - for all of the top stitching.  You know coral is my favourite colour right?

Moonlit 241 Tote 

And probably my favourite part of the bag - the handle.  I don't know how anyone could bare to part with these fabulous selvedges?  I couldn't!  The instructions direct you to cut a piece of fabric 6" x 26" for the handle, so I cut the selvedge off at 2.5", then 4.5" of the linen.  Cut the linen in half length ways and inserted the selvedge between them.  I had to sew the edge of the selvedge on TOP of the linen on one side, so as not to lose any of the text.  I freakin love it!

Moonlit 241 Tote 

Another first - magnetic snaps!  Never used them before, but I can now see them becoming a regular fixture on my bags!  So easy!?!?!?  I also love the little slip pocket on the inside - you can never have too many pockets in a bag.


Speaking of pockets..... The leaf print from Wee Wander co-ordinates divinely with the arrows.  Winning.

Moonlit 241 Tote

So - overall a very fabulous bag!  The only thing I WILL do differently when I make my next one (and undoubtedly many more after that) would be to upsize the pattern a little.  But for me, it's actually the perfect handbag size.  

Great, easy to follow pattern, with plenty of instructions.  I used a dressmaking interfacing - sort of like spiderweb weave - and it was enough structure as I don't like "stiff" bags.  I think if you added some batting to it, it would be ok also.

Next stop - the Super Tote!  You can find the 241 Tote Pattern HERE.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sewing Along With Sewvivor - Nautical Challenge

Once I got over the pain and devastation of not being voted on to the island, I had to re-group and decide what to do. I'd already started my Nautical Challenge piece, but sort of just wanted to fold it up and put it away forever!  Instead, I pulled it out and got on with the job.  And today, well, I finished it!

Sewvivor Sew Along - Nautical Challenge

When nautical came to mind, I thought of the sea (derrrrr), and instantly started searching for a Mariner's Compass.  My husband has three nautical stars tattooed on to his forearm representing our three children together!  I could not find one I loved, so I went to my fabulous friend Kristy over at Quiet Play and asked if she could come up with something fabulous for me?  She came to the party!

Sewvivor Sew Along - Nautical Challenge

I ummed and ahhed over fabric selection, wanting it to be strong and definite in its purpose, but also not wanting it to be predictably nautical in its colours.  I think the newsprint works very well as a background too.

Sewvivor Sew Along - Nautical Challenge 

Next step was attacking my blue and green stash.  I have plenty of both, but not many that are bigger than fat quarters!  I took my improvised curve cutting skills and worked it baby.  Every single row of colour is cut differently, and very improvised indeed!  I wanted the colours to work together but also against each other if that makes sense?  Like all the different currents in the ocean.  I did all the blue rows first, then had to figure out how to work around the compass block.  I used shorter lengths of fabric, improv curved them, then slashed them in half.  Curve cut the sides of the PP block and attached the side curves, then did the same with the top and bottom.  Phew.

Sewvivor Sew Along - Nautical Challenge

The quilting was quite fun. Lots and lots and LOTS of free motion wavey lines!  There is one section of waves on the aqua pebble fabric and there are some little pebbles in between the lines in sections.  I used a range of Aurifil threads in blue and green.  And of course, some hot pink for the stars.

Sewvivor Sew Along - Nautical Challenge

The final steps were completed today.  The Southern Cross.  I hand cut out all these little stars, which range in size from around 2" across to that teeny little one in the middle of the five point star, which is about 1/2"!  They have been attached using Vlisoflex and then appliqued on with my free motion foot.  I then attached the hanging sleeve and binding - Finished!

Sewvivor Sew-along

I was quite out of love with this a week ago.  But today is a different story.  I know we all second guess ourselves in our artistic efforts, and we are forever comparing ourselves - but finishing this was a great confidence booster for me.  The vision I had at the beginning, of the finished product, actually worked!

I'm still undecided what I will do with this little baby.  I had thought of perhaps sending it off to a friend whose husband is in the Navy, but am unsure whether hanging a quilt in her home would be her "thing"!  So I'll just think a bit longer.  The best part about finishing it?  When I showed it to my husband tonight, he really liked it and used the words "wow" and "cool".  Pick me up off the floor......

A few little stats for you:

Size - 34" x 34"
Fabrics - All from my stash, binding is leftover Horizon jelly roll strips.
Thread - Aurifil , Aurifil and Aurifil
Backing - Ikea print

Now - if you want to go and back some sure favourites in the "real" Sewvivor challenge - then you best head over to Family Ever After.  And if you are an Aussie like me - then you best be voting for my two friends - Angie and Crystal!  Their entries are fabulous!  GO!

Sew Kind Of Wonderful Blog Hop


It's true - I have signed up for a challenge - I'm participating in the first ever Sew Kind of Wonderful Blog hop.  Now, given I bought my Quick Curve Ruler back in April, and it's still sitting in its wrapping, very patiently I must say, I'm what you would call a "QCR Virgin".  Ahemmm......  Well, that's about to change!  I've just read through my first QCR pattern and although my head is about to explode with information overload, I'm doing what I do best - jumping in head first!

The blog hop is kicking off on Monday with the following amazing bloggers in showcasing the Quick Curve Ruler and patterns. We have:

Monday 18 August
Tuesday 19 August
Wednesday 20 August
Thursday 21 August
Friday 22 August
Monday 25 August
Tuesday 26 August
Wednesday 27 August
Thursday 28 August AND
Friday 29 August

There will be plenty of chances for you to see the Quick Curve Ruler in action, and there will be giveaways galore, so make sure you check in on Monday for more details! The blog hop is going to be followed by a 'Curve it up' Challenge Quilt-a-long on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog starting in September, so join in the blog hop, get inspired and get ready to Curve It Up!


Watch this space!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Anything Goes Monday!

Whilst I haven't been blogging a whole lot lately, I have been incredibly busy here!  I've been working very hard on a couple of secret squirrel projects, as well as some not so secret ones.  Like these.....

My youngest, Chloe, turned six a week ago, and so began a Mermaid-fest!  My heart melted when I asked her what she would like for her birthday, and she replied "a mermaid doll and I want you to make me something, like a cushion or clothes or a blanket".  Bless.  So, this is what she got!

Mermaid Cushion Cover

I adore her mermaid cushion!  Kristy from Quiet Play has done it again with another wonderful pattern.  I had loads of fun choosing fabrics, and I actually took it to my first ever sit and sew with a bunch of crafty bloggers - and gave a few of them a paper-piecing lesson! They all loved the choice for her hair, which is a scrap that was sent from one of my Wombat Stew buddies.

Mermaid Cushion Cover

I loved quilting it too.  Lots of swirly wind amongst the clouds, gentle waves on the ocean and some scales on her tail.  All done with my beloved Aurifil.

Mermaid Cushion Cover

Chloe is one very lucky girl!  This is what her bed looks like now!  The back two cushions and the purple one are all made by her Grandma - who is an amazing machine embroidery whizz!  And the Mermaid doll at the front is from Jacaranda Handmade.  Isn't she fabulous???

Foxy Cushion Cover

And this my friends, is Mr Fox!  I whipped this baby up for one of my daughter's friends.  Chelsea put in a request about a month ago, and I forgot.  She just happened to remind me a few days before said friend's birthday!  You can find the pattern by Shape Moth HERE.

Super colour saturated #paperpieced star for @blossomheartquilts #wombatstew I was hesitant about my fabric choices at first but not anymore! !

This lovely bright paper-pieced star is for Alyce's month as Queen Bee for Wombat Stew.  She had very specific colours in mind, which always makes fabric pulls fun!  Loving how it turned out!

Mermaid Dress

And this was a big surprise for Chloe the afternoon before her birthday!  I haven't made clothing for quite some time, so thoroughly enjoyed getting out my Ainslee Fox Disco Dress pattern, and making it mermaid special.

Mermaid girl

Double joy for Chloe on her birthday - it was "free dress day" as a fundraiser for cancer.  The theme was pink!  Winning!

Phew.  So that's a little bit of catch up from me.  There's loads more to come over the next couple of weeks, so make sure you keep up!

I'm linking up - You can too!

stitch by stitch

Sew Cute Tuesday

Paper Piecing Party

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Stash & Dash - Whoops

Ummmmmm........ I sort of forgot that I sort of made a comment that I sort of wouldn't be buying any fabric before I went to Tokyo......

I did just go to Ikea for the sole purpose of buying this bolt of fabric!

Whoops #1 - Last Sunday's trip to Ikea was for one purpose only.  My husband came along with me knowing that purpose, and when I questioned whether to get the whole bolt, he very cleverly commented "It's your money".  Well played husband.....

#indelible @cottonandsteel #moonlit #mustang #moonlitdenim #essexlinen #iminheaven

Whoops #2 - I folded on my "I'm not buying Cotton + Steel, cos I don't need it" virtue.  And whilst I put it in my cart, I thought I best fill that baby up.  So I did.  Essex Linen and Indellible are now located on my shelves....  I have to admit - I bought the half yard of Moonlit under the premise that it was, in fact, a canvas weight print.  I was very disappointed when it arrived and was quilting cotton.  I had BIG plans for that canvas!  The store I bought it from have been made aware of their ambiguous wording and have thankfully changed it so nobody else will think they are getting canvas.  In the meantime, I'll just wait, ahemmmm, for the replacement canvas I purchased today from another store.  Whoops.

Just received my new business cards from @moo and love them!!! #nowimreallyaquiltingbusiness

Whoops #3 - Really shouldn't be counted as a whoops.  I have wanted new business cards for quite some time - cos I've outgrown my cutesy pink and green "handmade children's clothing" cards.  I was very patient and waited for to have a sale.  They did.  So I got me some new cards.  They truly are much nicer in real life, but you know - this post is about dashing, it's 10.40pm, so this IG photo will just have to do!  I think they represent me just perfectly!

Over and out.

Molli Sparkles
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