Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sisterhood of the Travelling Stash, Part II (Farrah)

A few months ago I was lucky enough to be a part of the inaugural Australian Travelling Stash, "Sasha" organised by Cassie from Cass the Coolest. Sasha came to visit me quite early on (I was the second person to receive her!) and I've been following her evolution as she has travelled around the country. I'm really hoping that once she's returned to Cassie, Cass will decide to send her around again!

Sasha was so popular, and such a success amongst the Quilt Club Australia girls that Bronwyn from Stop that Owl started another travelling stash, dubbed "Farrah" (happiness) the Fat Quarter Stash. Bronwyn sent Farrah off with 50 assorted fat quarters, and she's been doing making her way across the countryside. Since I had enjoyed participating in Sasha's Stash, I couldn't say no to participating in Farrah!

Farrah arrived on my doorstep on Wednesday, which was a *lovely* surprise! She'd just been to visit Waverlee from Little Guinea Pigs.
A healthy 1.974kg worth of fabric!

 Oh the anticipation! There's something divine about getting to unwrap presents, isn't there?

 Once I'd unpacked Farrah I got to sort through and pick out all the pretties! Some of the fabrics were just so soft and lovely to the touch. It was a hard decision, but I finally narrowed my choices down to  17 fat quarters that I just "had to have".

Look at those pretty fat quarters!

A tower of pretties, all for me!
Once I'd made my fabric choices I had to raid my own stash to refill Farrah's coffers. I hope they find a happy home in someone else's stash!

Bye bye baby!

Farrah as she was when she departed - 2.006kg

 I mixed my fat quarters in with Farrah's, bundled her back up and got her ready to post off to her next stop... I can't tell you where she's off to though, it's a surprise!


Happy Blogiversary to Me! {GIVEAWAY}

Yes, that's right.. it's been a whole year already.. funnily enough it feels like a lot longer!

As promised, I'm throwing another giveaway to celebrate 1 year and 100 followers. If you're looking for my Quilting Gallery Blog Hop giveaway for an Aurifil Thread Card, check this post!

Today I have the pleasure of offering up a PDF pattern from one of my FAVOURITE fabric and pattern designers, Camille Roskelley! But which one? Well, that's up to you!

Camille has some of the most adorable patterns, like...

Image source: Thimbleblossoms
or maybe..
Image source: Thimbleblossoms

or even...
Image source: Thimbleblossoms

and my all time favourite..
Image source: Thimbleblossoms

To enter, you'll need to go to Camille's webstore and tell me which pattern you would love to win. One comment, that's it! I've decided that this giveaway will only be open to followers because I think that loyalty should be rewarded :)

Don't forget to leave me your email address, just in case you're a no-reply blogger - I'd hate for you to miss out because I couldn't reach you! The giveaway closes one week from today, on Thursday 6th September at 7pm Western Australian Standard Time.

So what have I discovered in my year of blogging? Well, for a start I've discovered that there are some amazing people out there in the blogosphere! I've made friends with some gorgeous, talented people, some of whom I've had the pleasure of meeting in real life. Through blogging I discovered the Quilt Club Australia facebook group, and through the QCA I've joined a bee group, and swaps and travelling stashes. I've also participated in other online blog based swaps. I've learnt how to use twitter and flickr. I've written tutorials. I've participated in blog hops. I've learnt new techniques, and along with my new skills I've developed more confidence. I've discovered that there's more to fabric than just "big box" stores!

I don't think I could accurately list all the things I've picked up along the way! Being a part of the blogging and wider online quilting community has changed the way I think about my craft. I am so lucky to have "met" you all, and learnt from the talented people around me.

On that note, I'll leave you with a few of my favourite finishes from the last year :)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Practically Paper Pieced Potter and a {GIVEAWAY}!!

I've really enjoyed seeing all the amazing paper pieced projects during Kristy's Practically Paper Pieced Blog Hop... and today it's my turn to show you what I've pieced!

I decided to make a coordinating cushion to go with the Harry Potter quilt that I made for my son's birthday..

There are some great Harry Potter paper pieced patterns available from Fandom in Stitches, so although I received a copy of EQ7 for my birthday I just couldn't work out how to put my own paper pieced Harry Potter pattern together in time and went with what was already available!
The original pattern, which I then cut in half and trimmed down so I could enlarge it.

I decided that I wanted my block to be ~10 inches though, so I had to blow up the pattern using Phillipa's fancy multifunction printer's copy function. Perfect! I also coloured in my pattern so that I could keep all the pieces straight... 
The original size versus my enlarged (coloured in) version.

My fabric choices - scraps from the Harry Potter quilt, a gorgeous black swirly fabric I bought for the August QCA Bee block, and some charm squares from one of the rainbow swaps.

... but I forgot to take into account that the pattern would end up backwards and I had to unpick and redo the blue section (because my husband was insistent that I couldn't just swap the Hogwarts crest around.. Bean would notice!).. once I'd fixed that up though it was relatively smooth sailing with only occasional unpicking required when I was being a bit too stingy with my fabric... it really does pay to be generous and then trim back - taking "short cuts" and being "thrifty" NEVER works with paper piecing!


Block complete.. So in love!

With the block complete I decided that I wanted to add an additional ~1" border in the black so that it made the crest stand out a little more. To make the cushion cover I wanted a 15" front panel, so I used 3" strips in the blue mosaic print from the Harry Potter quilt to border the Hogwarts crest (this gave me plenty of room to trim back). 

Using plain white homespun as backing fabric, I then quilted with a simple outline/ditch quilting around the "H", the crest (Aurifil 50wt #2130) and between the black & blue fabric (Aurifil 50wt #2620 - which I also used to piece.. I love this colour, it's so versatile for everything). 

I made a simple envelope backing (2 panels 15" x 10" - both lined with the white homespun for strength and one with pretty binding, incase you wanted to know) for the cushion using the blue feedsack from the Harry Potter quilt. Simple, but effective. Not to mention that it helps coordinate the cushion with the quilt!

The cushion turned out beautifully - Bean is so excited and wants to have it on his bed straight away, which kind of scuttles my plans to give it to him for Christmas! So much for planning ahead. I guess I'll just have to learn how to use EQ properly so I can make him another cushion (it looks so lonely by itself!) as a surprise. I think I'll attempt to design a Gryffindor crest of my own.. but we'll see!
The cushion and the quilt meet for the first time.
So there you have it! You could make a cushion like this with any stray paper pieced block, all you need to do is add a border to make it the finished size you want.

Oh.. I mentioned a GIVEAWAY, didn't I? It just so happens that next week is my 1 year blogiversary, AND I'm about to hit 100 followers.. all of which coincided beautifully with The Quilting Gallery's Blog Hop Party!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

So to celebrate, I'm offering up an AURIFIL Thread Colour Card.
Image Source: Aurifil.com
To enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment. About anything really, but you could always tell me what kind of fan-related paper piecing you would love to try.

For bonus entries (which are entirely optional) you can:
* Follow my blog
* Follow me on Facebook or Twitter
* Tweet, Blog or share my giveaway and leave me a link.

The giveaway will be open until Tuesday, September 4th at 7pm Western Australian Standard Time. International entries are welcome.

If I manage to hit the 100 follower mark, I might even throw another giveaway on my actual blogiversary date :)

Meanwhile, back to the Practically Paper Piecing Blog Hop.. don't forget to check out the other projects still to come:

27th August - Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches
28th August - Anorina from Samelia’s Mum

And you can find the list of the other blog hop stops at Kristy's PPP page :)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Playing catch up..

Please don't confuse my lack of blogging for lack of activity... I'm pleased to say that we are settled in the new house (although there are still a few boxes haunting me) and the other house if FINALLY not my problem.. it's sold, settled and its new owners have moved in. Thank goodness. There were a few moments during the final moving/cleaning stage that were rather fraught with emotion/exhaustion. Have I mentioned that I hate moving house?

And my new house is unpacked enough that I have been able to sneak a few hours in my sewing room (my husband still thinks unpacking should be my first priority, followed by cleaning... but a girl needs to have some fun!)..

I don't think I ever revealed what I'd received in the QCA Handmade Swap. The lovely Jess from Scrappy n Happy sent me the most gorgeous little sewing kit, complete with embroidery scissors, applique needles & thread. She also enclosed some chocolate (I LOVE the Cadbury Marvellous Creations - it's fully of popping candy fun!) and fancy coffee sticks so I could sit down and check my gift out properly. The sewing kit has a matching needle book - both using a print from Bonnie & Camille's Ruby line.. one of my favourites! I especially love the measuring "tape" on the front. Jess, you'll be pleased to know that I could not live without those embroidery scissors!


All kitted out! Aren't I a lucky girl?
Speaking of swaps, I posted off my #talknt Handmade Swap gift.. and it made its way to Utah to live with @catann40. I made a mini quilt using a Swoon block, and this time I remembered to add hanging tabs! I really liked the way the mini turned out - it was incredibly hard to send it away.. good thing I've got lots more of that fabric! (I've actually decided to turn "my" Swoon quilt into a quilt for my Granddad... hopefully I can get that finished in time for Christmas!)


A closeup of my stippled quilting


I am dreadfully behind on my Craftsy BOM blocks.. I haven't done the July blocks yet, but if it makes any difference I used the tutorial for one of the August blocks to make Anorina's July QCA Bee block (which I made last week. In August. Woeful.). Anorina asked for a 12.5" star block of our choice, in grey/black/white/orange. I found some gorgeous black swirly and "galaxy" print fabric at Textile Traders, and used some orange from my stash. Bean really liked the block, he thought it looked like a Harry Potter star (whatever that is!).


I also made a start on McKenna's August block today. McKenna asked for a 16" feathered star block in the patriotic red, white & blue. So far I'm about halfway through cutting 48 1.5" HSTs.


I also finished piecing the nine patches for the quilt my husband wants me to make for a friend of his.. 64x 6.5" nine patches! Next I get to cut 64x 6.5" squares from my white background fabric so that I can turn all those nine patches into 128 nine patch HSTs. This quilt pattern is somewhat more labour intensive than the last two patterns I made out of Pam & Nicky Lintott's Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts. I think it will look really effective once it's done though.

6 down, 58 to go...

64 nine patches complete!
 And the last thing I've been working on is my project for the Practically Paper Piecing blog hop that Kristy from Quiet Play is hosting. I've actually finished my paper pieced block, and all I have to do now is turn it into a finished product. You'll just have to wait until next week to find out what it is!

 Practically Paper Piecing

Here's a sneak peek for you...
Linking up to:
  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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