Thursday, 29 March 2012

Blog Hop Linky Party


Now that Google Friend Connect isn't available for non-Blogger blogs, there are a few other widgets floating around so that people can stay linked up.. Linky Followers is a relatively new one - rumor has it that it's only been around for 2 months or so!

Anyway, It's So Very Cheri has decided to host a blog hop linky party (try saying that 5 times fast!) to help people re-connect with their favourite blogs, or discover some new favourites - yay! And just when you thought you'd caught up on all your blog reading :)

So I decided to join the party, and you can too!


RULES:

1. You MUST have the LINKY FOLLOWERS tool on your site to participate.

If you see that your link has been deleted you need to add the LINKY FOLLOWER tool to your site and then come back over and re-enter your link
{You can have both the LINKY FOLLOWERS & GFC on your site but you must have the LINKY FOLLOWERS tool to participate in this party hop.}

2. You MUST follow the person who has the party on their site as a thank you.

3. Just add your blog button to the LINKY PARTY below.

4.Then grab the BLOG HOP code

You will find the code right under the Linky Party where it says CLICK HERE TO ENTER
just under that it says: WHAT IS A BLOG HOP? GET THE CODE HERE
Click on GET THE CODE HERE and enter it into a post on your site.
You can grab the party button code in the FOOTER at Its So Very Cheri
You can grab info from my post if it helps you with your post.

5. Then you follow other bloggers–(as many as you want)
–leave each one of the blogs that you follow a comment letting them know you are following them and ask them to follow you back.

If you want to add the BLOG HOP to your own site you will get lots of new followers(see rule #2)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Building blocks..

So after a very productive start of last week I got all caught up in the crazy non-sewing stuff that was pencilled onto my calendar... On Saturday I hosted a Baby Shower for my sister-in-law which was a lot of fun :) She loved her quilt, and all the other pregnant women oohhed and ahhed appreciatively! The "long-legged monkey" is still happily ensconced, but we're all thinking that it's just a matter of days until he or she makes her dramatic entrance... not long to go now! (She just txted me to say she didn't feel like going to baby yoga this afternoon, so I think it might be go time real soon now!)

8 completed Split Drunkard's Path star blocks
Over the last week I've managed to complete the final 8 Split Drunkard's Path Star blocks for Bean's Harry Potter quilt, so now I can lay out the pieces that will form the quilt top and hopefully work out how to put all the elements together with relatively little trouble. (Hah!) I still need to make the owl blocks bigger so that they are the same size as the stars, and then I need to work out how much sashing/bordering is required to make the star border fit around the sashed tumbler centre section. And then, I need to work out what I'll still need to do to get it closer to single bed sized. How I wish I had a copy of EQ7!!!!
I also completed my second March Craftsy BOM block, the "Broken Spiderweb". I love this block! I've seen it floating around the blogosphere, and I just think it looks amazing. Blossom asked me if she could have this block, so perhaps when I get Bean's quilt finished and can start on hers I'll have to incorporate the broken spiderweb block into her quilt design! (I have all her fabric - a combination of Sweet Divinity and Sugar & Spice by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake.. just no specific design in mind yet) Can you tell I love the Quilted Fish? (My Craftsy BOM is using an FQ bundle of Delighted!)

Anyway, enough blogging, time for more sewing!

Linking up with:


Fresh Poppy Design WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced WIPs on Wednesdays

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

On a Roll!

Following on from yesterday's productivity, I finished Belinda & Linda's Good Fortune mug rugs this morning..
Belinda's


Linda's




Top side

Reverse side
I still have mine to make, and I was planning to make it exactly the same.. but I had an extra 9 patch block and I hate seeing things got to waste... so instead I used the extra pieces to square my blocks up.. I think I'll put a thin border of white homespun around it before I quilt and bind it.. it'll end up being a little bigger than the other mug rugs, so I guess it could always double as a candle mat!



 Next I pulled out the Drunkard's Path blocks that I'd split and pressed (enough for 3x star blocks), squared them up to 3.5" and laid them out. Unfortunately one of my blocks doesn't quite work for me (colour combination-wise) so I set it aside because I might be able to switch around some of my other blocks and retrieve the situation. But I finished one piecing one block (I couldn't be bothered going outside to the ironing board in the dark, which is why it's not pressed) and I've nearly finished the other (see note re: pressing)...
One block complete (needs final pressing)
  I *did* work out how to do that cool web string chaining thing though, so that my block actually stays looking like that even if I pick it up, and once I've pressed it all I'll need to do is just zip down those rows and it will be done!
Second block nearly complete 
 Linking up with:



Fresh Poppy Design

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

More Blogger's Choice..

So it turns out that Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey is allowing multiple entries for her Blogger's Choice Bundle competition, which is awesome because it's so hard to commit to just one colour scheme! So here's my second entry, which I love probably just as much as my first bundle - except that I don't have a recipient for this in mind. :)

I call this collection: 
Tequila, Lime & Salt Air


The fabrics used for this collection are as follows:

Column 1:
1. Dumb Dot in Charcoal Gray by Michael Miller
2. Hello Pilgrim Spring Meadow in Cocoa Lizzy House
3. Modern Meadow Napsack in Lake Blue by Joel Dewberry

Column 2:
1. Bursts in White - Fruit Slice for Anthology Fabrics by Khristian A Howell
2. Coral Bloom in Seafoam - Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics
3. Sea Garden in Summer - Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics

Column 3:
1. Lock and Key in Coral Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson
2. Modern Meadow Honeycomb in Pink by Joel Dewberry
3. Vintage Ironwork in Coral Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson

Column 4:
1. Songbird in Lime Bonjour by Diane Kappa for Anthology Fabrics
2. Hello Pilgrim Pearl Bracelet in Green Lizzy House
3. Medallion in Green - Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit Fabrics

It's a day for finishes...

And better yet, it's only Monday! Although given what's coming up on my calendar, it might be 80% of what I get done this week.. but going back to the finishes, I finally finished my sister-in-law's baby quilt, ready for her baby shower this coming Saturday.


Would you believe it took me about as long to tie off all the loose thread ends as it did to quilt it? Thread ends are boring biscuits! Definitely going to add that "automatic lock stitch" feature to my list of requirements for when I get a new machine!


 But I'm happy with how it turned out overall - just need to wash it now so that it's all ready for my new niece/nephew to use when she/he arrives. (Or is it nicer to gift it to my SIL all pretty and shiny and new and perfect?) And I managed to complete it in a week.. with 5 days to spare until the baby shower.. my friend Catherine from Banana Monkey didn't think I'd be able to do it - oh ye of little faith!


 Today I also decided to quickly whip up another apron like the ones I made my kidlets for Christmas - this time it's for Phillipa's middle daughter who is turning 5 on Wednesday. Miss J is one of my favourite kids, and when I made the other aprons she helped model them so I could work out where the snaps had to go on the neck strap... and she really wanted one of her own, so I knew it would be the perfect birthday present. I'm pretty stoked that I managed to complete it from scratch in a day along with finishing the baby quilt!


 I'm linking up with Manic Monday over at SewHappyGeek as well as {Sew} Modern  Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations.



Sew Happy Geek

Why hello, Mr Postman!

I got 3 exciting packages in the mail today... the first one came all the way from Ann Arbor, MI.. from the lovely ladies (Polly) Minick & (Laurie) Simpson! I won a charm pack of Prairie Paisley II in the recent Vintage Modern blog hop run by The Fat Quarter Shop (but more about that in a minute!) - which will match my Prairie Paisley II layer cake perfectly!

 The next package was my new Heart die for my Accuquilt GO! fabric cutter.. this came from Cutting Art, where I purchased my GO! They have excellent customer service and great prices (similar prices to the US - much less mark up than other Australian retailers!).. Phillipa is planning something with this die for the QCA Bee girls when it's her turn to be Bee Leader in May.


And my last package came from The Fat Quarter Shop. It's a Fat Eight bundle of Twirl by Me & My Sister.. also from the Vintage Modern blog hop. Sadly they'd run out of the layer cakes that were supposed to be the prize, so I had to settle for the F8 bundle - what a shame! And speaking of great customer service, The Fat Quarter Shop is amazing! Aside from upgrading my prize, they also went above and beyond with a recent order that I placed regarding how much they could stuff into a flat rate envelope.. clearly they are just as invested in their international customers as they are in their local customers ♥

So thank you, Mr Postman.. you've made my day!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Blogger's Choice Bundle - I'm a Ginger Monkey

So the wonderfully talented Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey has teamed up with the girls at Pink Castle Fabrics to run a blogger's choice fat quarter bundle competition! All you have to do is choose 12 fabrics from Pink Castle's etsy or web stores, plop them into mosaic maker and then link them up to Katy's blog post. Simple, yes?

And why would you want to do this? Well, aside from the obvious benefits of getting to browse lots and lots of pretty, shiny fabric... there will be two winners who will not only win their bundle, but will attain fame and fortune (ok, no fortune sorry!) when their bundle is featured on the Pink Castle Fabrics website. Score!

So here's my entry. It was inspired by the Salt Air prints I've chosen, which made me think immediately of my sister. If I win I will use my bundle to make her a quilt, because I love her and she's an awesome sister!

I call my collection: Ocean Goddess


The fabrics I chose were from Pink Castle Fabric's etsy store, and are as follows:

Row 1:

Row 2:

Row 3:

Friday, 16 March 2012

March Bee & BOM Blocks..

I've been a bit busy making my sister-in-law's baby quilt so I've only managed to complete one of the March Craftsy BOM blocks so far - but it's only halfway through the month, so I shouldn't be too concerned yet, right? So far I've managed to complete the foundation pieced string block, which was an interesting experience after having recently made paper pieced string blocks for the QCA bee last month. I really liked how the seams are hidden so it's nice and tidy at the back.. but the blocks did suffer a bit from shrinkage because of the seams, so I definitely think if I was doing a whole quilt like this I'd want to use a thread like the 50wt Aurifil so that it sits flat and doesn't take up as much room. (ie my 6.5" blocks ended up perhaps 6.25" using my generic white thread)
Craftsy BOM Block #5 - Foundation Pieced String Block
 I can't wait to finish the baby quilt so that I can move on to the second Craftsy BOM block, the Broken Spiderweb.. I'm really looking forward to making that block - I've seen it floating around blogland/flickr and I think it's most effective. I'm going to use the blue/green fabrics from the Delighted range for the Broken Spiderweb, having used the red/yellow fabrics for the String Block.

I also managed to complete my March block for the QCA bee - although it wasn't exactly a block! Jane from Quiltjane is the block leader this month and she wanted some strippy Dresden plates. She was even so good as to put together a tutorial and templates for us all to print, making Dresden plates look super simple! Jane asked us to alternate between horizontal stripes and vertical stripes for the wedges.
Horizontal strippy wedge

Vertical strippy wedge
 The wedges went together really quickly, especially once I had a bit of a chain production line going on! I thought these looked so effective once they'd been put together - I'm completely in awe of Jane's brain - I'd never have thought of making the wedges strippy (and then alternating the stripes).. I guess it's a good thing I can follow instructions at least!
Laying out wedges for fun, halfway through.

My block (left) and Phillipa's block (right)
 Phillipa and I ended up finishing our blocks off together at one of our regular sewing playdates (seriously, it's so awesome having 2 full days to myself now that Blossom is in Kindy.. I get to hang out with my girlfriends and sew! What more could a girl want??) The colours didn't come out quite as vibrant in the photos - they're both bright with homespuns like teal, lavender, peacock, coral, stone etc. It was so much fun going shopping for solids - for a start, they were on sale! But it was a pleasure to grab bolts and stack them up in these vibrant jewel tones.. it made me want to sit there and stroke them (which is a loony idea I seem to have picked up from someone on twitter I think! I mean seriously, who stroked fabric?? Apparently crazy people, like me.)
My completed Dresden plate block

Phillipa's completed Dresden plate block


So I'm linking up with TGIFF (Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday) because I'm glad that I've finished those blocks - the Dresden plates are in the mail, winging their way to Jane as we speak!

Trying new things - Quilting circles..

My brother-in-law and his wife are expecting their first baby in 3 weeks, which is super exciting for me as it will finally make me an Aunty for the very first time! They decided not to find out whether they were having a boy or a girl, so they wanted a gender neutral theme for the nursery. My sister-in-law found some gorgeous jungle themed things for their nursery, so when I found this fabric:

I knew it would be perfect for the quilt that I wanted to make for her as a baby shower gift! I've had this fabric since before Christmas, but of course I hadn't done anything with it because I had *AGES* until the baby was due... but I figured that this week I'd better do something about it as I'm hosting the baby shower next weekend!

So Monday saw me with my rotary cutter and my sewing machine, cutting the blocks to size and working out how to lay them out. I ended up deciding to make 2 panels exactly the same so that the quilt could be completely reversible - this also gave me a few extra challenges later, but I won't get ahead of myself!

I sashed the blocks with a lime green homespun - 2.5" strips (cut with my Accuquilt GO! - gosh I love that thing!) and then on Tuesday I added 4.5" strips to border it. I was a bit stumped when it came time to work out how to quilt it because having decided to make it reversible I couldn't really chance stitching in the ditch incase I hadn't lined it up properly on both sides. I did a quick survey on twitter amongst some of my crafty girlfriends and the lovely Quiltjane suggested concentric circles. Initially I was intimidated by the idea of doing circles as I've only ever straight line quilted or free motion stippled (I've only been FMQing for a few weeks).. but the idea grew on me as the day progressed.

 In the end I grabbed a dinner plate, a bread & butter plate and a demitasse coffee saucer and drew asymmetrically nested circles all over the quilt. It was surprisingly less daunting than I'd anticipated, although it seemed like it was going to take forever when I started. But I spent most of Wednesday quilting and managed to finish it off, thank goodness!
Today I trimmed it back ready for binding (I didn't get much sewing time in as I had other things on through the day), so at tomorrow morning's craft playdate I'll cut and sew the binding on... and then it will be finished..
Well, except for the million threads that need to be tied off!

I think it turned out pretty awesome, and I was impressed by how quickly I managed to get it pieced and quilted.. it's not often that I make a baby quilt from start to finish in less than a week.. and with a week to spare until the baby shower! I guess I'll have time to applique some of the spare animals onto those face washers I bought.....



I also decided to link up with T(ry)N(ew)T(hings) Thursdays at Happy Quilting because I've never tried quilting circles before.. but it turned out so nicely that I'll definitely do it again :)






And I'm also linking up with Sunni's "This Week" linky party :)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sharing in each other's Good Fortune..

So I had this idea late last year about making some mug rugs for my girlfriends using a charm pack of "Good Fortune" by Kate Spain. Originally it was supposed to be part of their Christmas presents, but I ran out of time. But I still really wanted to make them.. it all came out of this silly little "Chinese moneybags" meme-y type thing that went around, where you added up your age, plus the last year you were born (dropping the 19) and it would add up to 111. So at playgroup one day we all sat around and worked it out.. and it worked.. eg. I just turned 30, and I was born in '81... 30+81=111. We also worked out that for our kids, theirs all worked out to 11.. eg Blossom was 3 & born in '08 - 3+8=11. Amusing, yes? So I decided that if I made us all mug rugs out of a single charm pack of "Good Fortune" we could "share in each other's Good Fortune". Completely corny, I know - but that's me!

So I made up a whole pile of disappearing 9 patch blocks using my good fortune charms and came up with:

Kym's, Linda's, Phillipa's & Belinda's, basted and ready to quilt.
 They're completely double sided, and each mug rug uses 3 disappearing 9 patch blocks. Once I've finished them all I might even post a tutorial for you, incase anyone is interested in making their own!
Kym's & Phillipa's, side #1

Kym's and Phillipa's, side #2
Because I only had a charm pack I had to go out and buy some generic fabric for binding from Spotlight - which of course Kate Spain picked up on straight away when I sent her some pics on twitter! Oops! Next time I'll have to plan in advance and buy yardage to match. I've finished 2 mug rugs (and given them to Kym & Phillipa), with Linda's & Belinda's quilted and ready to bind.. and mine still needs to be quilted & bound. It was surprisingly hard to give them away, because I just love this fabric! So to ease the pain I purchased a Fat Eighth bundle from Quiltjane's Want it, Need it, Quilt store.. I'm definitely making a throw quilt for my couch out of that.. and I'll have the mug rug to match!

Linking up this week with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday..

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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