Monday, February 16, 2015

MOVING ON UP - Important if you want to keep reading my blog!

Hello!

This is a very quick blog post for you all.  I have finally made the big jump over to my old self-hosted website!  It's a much prettier and simpler place to hang out, and although it's still a work in progress - I love it!  I hope you'll love it too!

But for now - I need to direct you all over there - 

www.msmidge.com.au 

If you are typing that address in to your search bar and you still land straight back to this blogspot page, then you will need to clear the cache on your computer.  I had to do that!  

I am working on getting my new site switched over on Bloglovin, so if you follow me via there, please bare with me!


Thanks so much!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sew Cute Tuesday - Back To My Regular Schedule

As I gently re-enter my regular routine, I've returned to gift sewing.  You see, I worked my proverbial butt off over January, doing what we call "sleepover shifts" during the school holidays, so I could be home with the kids.  Once the kids headed back to school, I had a glorious ten days off work to get this house, and my sewing, back in to order!  So today, I'm sharing a few goodies I managed to get sorted.....

2015-02-09_04-15-16

A few weeks ago, I got myself one of these fabulous Moda Modern Building Blocks sets.  I've seen some amazing quilts being made on Instagram (check out the hashtags #modabuildingblocks & #modamodernbuildingblocks) and was looking forward to making my own version.

When it came to making January's Handmade Birthday Club gift for Leonie, I pulled out my handy-dandy-block-set and found myself stopping at block number 7!  It's an 18" block, so the perfect size for a quilted cushion cover....

Tula Moda Building Blocks #7 Cushion

One of Leonie's many favourite fabric designers is Tula Pink.  So I rummaged through my stash and found some Acacia to pair with the most divine Deer print from her Moonshine range.  I was incredibly happy with the way the colours played together, and love the way one block can look many different ways....

Tula Moda Building Blocks #7 Cushion

I used the gorgeous Dove Aurifil in 40wt for the quilting, and did a 1/4" version of matchstick quilting.  The textural finish is awesome.  Leonie received her gift yesterday and thankfully loved it!

Once I'd ticked that pressie off my to-do list, I moved on to something for me!  I have been in need of a new purse for a little while, but was baulking at spending a small fortune on something that wasn't perfect.  So I reached out to some of my crafting friends, and asked for a pattern recommendation.  It was a resounding response - the Necessary Clutch Wallet!  I would be lying if I told you I wasn't scared to death about tackling this pattern, but it was worth the fear.....

Necessary Clutch Purse

Because at the end of a day and a half of cutting, reading pattern, ironing, reading the pattern again and again and again, and sewing - I had these two divine purses!  Now, if you've been around these digs for a while, you will know I DON'T DO FIDDLY.  Until now.  Yes, they were a tad bit fiddly.  And yes, I had to be incredibly patient.  Especially with the installation of the clasp hardware.  But I got there in the end.

Necessary Clutch Purse

As you can see - there is plenty of space for cards, money, receipts etc - and there's a great amount of space in the centre section there, you could pop a phone or some lippy in too!  So my beautiful purse now lives in its co-ordinating handbag.  And the second one was grabbed up a friend who asked if she could purchase it. Win, win!

Enchino Make up bag

This little make up purse is for a family member as requested.  I'm being very brave of late, and am cracking open my Tokyo fabric purchases frequently.  This Enchino print is just so darn cute with its geometrics and the zebra!

Another family member's request - this time from my youngest son..... When in class last week, he announced to his teacher he needed a pencil case, said teacher asked him why didn't he ask his Mum?  (Said teacher received a pencil case from me for Christmas!)

I think this is only the second time cadyn has asked me to make him something.... A quilt and now a pencilcase! #ifeelspecial

I whipped this pencil case up on Sunday, after a couple of days of him asking if I'd made it.  This is literally only the second time in history Cadyn has asked me to make him something!  His quilt was made a couple of years ago, so I thought I best strike whilst the iron was hot!  He very proudly took it to school on Monday and has his pencils stashed safely.

And that, my friends, is my past week of sewing....  What have you been up to this past week?

I'm linking up - You can too!


Sew Cute Tuesday

Friday, February 6, 2015

Star Crossed - Waterfront Park

If you've been around these parts a while, you may remember I fell madly in love with Violetcraft's Waterfront Park last year?  I ordered my bundle, received it, and swiftly turned it in to a quilt top........ I even got halfway through making the quilt back.  But for some reason (known to me - the quilt top was a tad wonky) it languished in my WIP pile for far too long.

Fast forward to this week.  

Star Crossed Waterfront Park 

And she is complete!  I am still utterly in love with it, and am quite torn about giving it away.  When I showed my Mum today, and told her I was a little sad to see it go, she told me to keep it.  But I've got to come to terms that I just cannot keep every. single. quilt. I. make.

Star Crossed Waterfront Park 

I had this baby basted quite quickly, and then sat in front of it wondering how on earth I was going to quilt it?  I had a migraine last week (the first in about a year) and the headache hangover still had not shifted, so needed to quilt quite minimally.  And because of its slight wonkiness, I needed something that would not make the wonkiness scream!  I ended up going with some pretty organic straight line quilting......  Organic because I did not measure the spaces because the lines.  I just winged it.  I used my very trusty Aurifil #2024 in 40wt for the quilting, and it didn't let me down.  When you get close up, the shimmer is divine.

Star Crossed Waterfront Park 

And love the end result.  I even love the wonky backing!  It is actually quite squared up.....but the writing on a slant doesn't help!

Star Crossed Waterfront Park 

I envisioned a beautiful photo shoot down at the beach for this quilt.  Clearly, that vision did not come to fruition - so I had to settle for the front yard and help from my three youngest children.  My gorgeous Chelsea wrapped herself up at the end and I couldn't help but keep snapping.....

Star Crossed Waterfront Park

If you wish to make your own version of this quilt, I used a free tutorial for the star crossed blocks by Don't Call Me Betsy.  They're a fun block to make, with endless possibilities for fabric selection.   I then just whipped up some simple cross blocks for the cornerstones, to match the width of my sashing.

And just for a laugh, I thought I'd show you this......

Working with Children....

Whilst photographing yesterday, my youngest (who is currently nicknamed "devil-child") was being a fool.  It wasn't until I uploaded the photos today that I spotted something flying through the air in the very first shot!  Pretty good (or bad) timing really!

So - this throw sized pretty will be off to its new owner and I will be crying in the corner.  Nah, i'll be happy to make someone else happy!

THE STATS:

Size: 43" x 61.5"
Fabric: Waterfront Park by Violet Craft
Backing: Ikea Numbers
Thread: Aurifil #2024 40wt

Another WIP bites the dust!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Australia Day

Today is a public holiday here in Australia.  AUSTRALIA DAY to be exact.  So in true Aussie style, our family is heading down to the beach to meet up with a couple of other families, and will spend the afternoon sitting in the sunshine, having a few drinks and cooking up a bbq lunch.

Today, I'd like to share with you my perspective on being a quilter in Australia.  Angie from Gnome Angel threw the idea out there........so thanks Angie!  You're making me think out loud!

Living in Australia can sometimes feel like you are so completely removed from the rest of the world.  At times, I watch news reports and read stories of far away places, and it's hard to imagine such things are happening?  But then other times, it's like the world has landed on our doorstep!

Being a quilter in Australia is somewhat the same!  By that, I mean you see all of these amazing quilt shows, websites and fabric stores in other countries and you think - "why don't we have that here?!?!!?"  And then next thing you know - you discover an amazing quilt shop and someone starts the first Modern Quilt Show in Australia!  You get yourself an Instagram account and discover UH-mazing and talented Aussies doing the stuff you've been coveting from international crafters!  And then, then you dig a little deeper, and you find an endless array of fabulous Aussies in the Blogosphere.  It's quite simply - Inspiring.

Australians are a loyal bunch.  And supportive - OH SO supportive.  We like to see one another succeed, and once a friendship is formed, it generally lasts forever (well, for me anyway!).  Over the past couple of years, I have been lucky enough to make friends with a whole bunch of Aussie quilters, and at times, they have been the ones who have encouraged me to go forward with ideas - whether it be patterns, fabric swaps or even just a quilt I'm constructing.   I've met a number of these lovely peeps, and although the majority of our interaction is online, knowing they live in the same country, and that I CAN actually go and catch up with them is really lovely.......

Had a lovely day with this fab chick!  #nolongermystalker @gnomeangel
Angie and I meeting up at the Quilting Show in Melbourne last year...
Yay!! @blossomheartquilts
Alyce and I spent the day fabric shopping in Tokyo in October....
White glove ladies.
Some of the gals from the Melbourne MQG on white glove duty at the Stitches & Craft Show in Melbourne 2014.
Proof that online friends do exist IRL! Had a lovely day fabric shopping and lunching today with @sewdeliciousros and @abbythingsforboys Be brave and meet your online friends!
Ros & Abby met up with me for a day of fabric shopping & lunch last year....
This past year has been HUGE for me.  I was published in Make Modern Magazine with my very own quilt pattern, and continue to write my Domestic Quilting Goddess column each issue.  I started the Aussie Charm Swaps, and in turn, am encouraging Australian quilters & crafters to support Australian businesses by having them as sponsors of giveaways.  AND I have expanded my small business to selling Aurifil threads here in Australia.  All of these things could not have been possible without the ongoing support of my Aussie quilting friends, and I am ever so grateful for that!  

The talent of so many Australian quilters is being recognised world wide, and I have so many wonderful people to look up to.  Wishing you all a very happy Australia Day and I hope that you are all spending the day doing something you love, with the people you love.

You can catch up with some other Aussies here:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Stash & Giveaway Winner!

A funny thing happened early last week..... One of my Melbourne MQG friends posted in our FB group that Spotlight was stocking some gorgeous Cloud 9 canvas.  And said canvas was from the Koi range by Rashida Coleman-Hale!  What is funny?  Well, when I receive my Spotlight catalogues in the mail, I usually don't need anything, so I just throw them in the bin (gasp!). So on this day, I had to go rummaging through my garbage bin to find the catalogue!  And when I did, I knew I would be hot-footing it down to Spotlight on Wednesday, when the sale began.....

I hot footed it to spotlight this morning for the advertised #koi canvas! Found it!! #winning

I was there right on opening time, and whizzed down to the canvas section, and found these delightful pretties!  I promptly purchased the three prints on the right, and then exited the store.  That same afternoon, I pulled out my 241 Tote pattern pieces, and got started on my new handbag.

Yay for a new handbag! #twins #241tote #koifabric @iheartlinen

And by Friday afternoon, I'd made not only one, but two!  I changed a couple of things.  You see, these are my 6th and 7th 241 totes, so I am learning each time what works and what doesn't.  This time around, I added a zipper pocket to the outside that has plenty of room in it.  Although I love the look of the two little zip pockets on the original pattern, they aren't really that useful!  I have also enlarged the pattern, to around 110% when printing it out.  You'll see further down in the post a comparison photo with my original bag.  And lastly, I'm using the 640 fusible interfacing from Spotlight, which is a little more sturdier than others I've used.  Gives the bag much more body and strength.

I suck at modelling......but hopefully this pic demonstrates the size of the #241tote when enlarged! #koifabric @iheartlinen

And just for your amusement, I took this shot and shared it on IG so everyone could see just how big this yummy bag is!

And size comparison... #241tote @noodlehead531

Size comparison!  The top bag is the first I made, and as you can tell, is a little floppy due to a thin interfacing.  Can you also tell I have a thing for Rashida's fabric designs??  :)

IMAG0807

And just in the interest's of honesty.....I actually went back to Spotlight on Friday - mainly to get more interfacing - but also to see if they had the Koi print for my Mum.  I found a couple of other prints too.  So - I grabbed myself the dragonfly and grey crosses too.....

If you're looking for some lovely quality canvas, then you should pop in to Spotlight (if you're in AUS) and check them out!


NOW - on to the giveaway from last week!  Thank you to everyone who entered for the chance to win a mystery pack of fabric from my stash!  With over 200 entries, it was really interesting to see who everyone's favourite designers and colour were.  But as always, there has to be one winner - and thankfully, Rafflecopter chooses for me!


A big congratulations to Suesewstoo!  I shall email you shortly and get your postal address.  Then send a mysterious little something out to you!

Thanks again everyone! 
xxx

Molli Sparkles

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

3000 - A Facebook Celebratory Giveaway!

A very exciting (and sneaky) number crept up on me.......I was doing a little makeover on the FB page today, when I noted that my number of "followers" had clicked over the 3000 mark!?!?!  What the!?!?!?


So, in the spirit of celebrating, I thought how about a little old fabric giveaway???

I have a tonne of fabric.  Literally.  I have no idea what I'm going to give away, but it will be at least a few fat quarters, some scraps, maybe more!  If you'd like to be in the running, just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below - it's easy peasy!

Thank you to EVERYONE who has been following my FB page - whether you've been there since it all began in 2010, or whether you only just clicked on this week.  I truly appreciate you all!

The giveaway starts now and ends 12am Sunday 25th January.  I will announce a winner here on the blog later that day/night!

GO!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sewing For Sydney - Team Blue!

You may have heard about a wonderful quilting collaboration - Sewing For Sydney - happening at the moment?  The delightful Molli Sparkles came up with a wonderful idea - to make quilts for the families of the two people who were sadly killed during the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney before Christmas.  I was totally on board the day I saw the call out, and whipped up five blocks and sent them off.

A few days later, I noted just how many blocks Molli was receiving, which meant his goal of making a "couple" of quilts was going to be very quickly blown out of the water, and he may just need a little help?  I sent him a quick message, telling him I'd be more than happy to put a quilt top together if need be.  It was a resounding yes, and a couple of weeks later, 168 lovely little hashtag blocks arrived on my doorstep.

We have a layout! My 6 & 10 year olds just asked what I was making? I just explained the whole story of how @molli_sparkles and the world of quilters have come together and who the quilts were for and why. They were both very impressed and thought it was

And a couple of hours later, I had a layout, ready to sew together.  It was a very random layout, as requested by Molli, and I loved the way the colours all looked!

Done! #teamblue has a completed quilt top.....just needs pressing, which will have to wait until I get home from work tomorrow morning! #glitteratitotherescue #sewingforsydney @molli_sparkles

The quilt top was reasonably quick and easy to put together - it helped that I was directed not to worry about lining up the hashtag seams - cos that wasn't going to happen!!!

Hashtag Quilt For Sydney 

Yesterday was our Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild's sit n sew day.  I took the quilt top along, as the Blue Team's baton was being handed over to Andrea - a fellow Melbourne quilter who had offered to put the backing and binding together.  We showed the guild members - some of whom had contributed blocks to the cause.  It was a really lovely way to demonstrate how a community of quilters, from ALL over the world, can come together to hopefully bring some cheer to families who have lost such a dear loved one.

Hashtag Quilt For Sydney

So, this lovely quilt top will soon be off to our Team Blue's long arm quilter, for some magic to happen, before it is bound and sent back to Molli for distribution!

So - I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to Molli, for allowing me to be a part of this bigger picture.  You've done a good thing girlfriend. xxx
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